Cowboys Expected To Sign S Malik Hooker

Malik Hooker remains in free agency, but the former first-round pick has been connected to multiple teams this offseason. He is paying the Cowboys another visit Friday, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). This second meeting is expected to produce a deal, so long as Hooker proves healthy, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

The Cowboys hosted Hooker, Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee in March. Both Neal and Kazee, each of whom former Dan Quinn charges with the Falcons, signed with the Cowboys. Dallas looks set to have all three of those March visitors in uniform soon.

A Ohio State product, Hooker is coming off a season in which he played just two games. He suffered an Achilles tear last September. That affected his market, and Hooker should be expected to use the 2021 season as a springboard to a more lucrative contract down the road.

Hooker also visited the Steelers and Dolphins this year, with his most recent meeting — in Pittsburgh — coming in early June. Shortly after that meeting, Hooker expressed interest in waiting on more teams to enter the equation. Dallas’ re-emergence appears to have satisfied him, and Hooker — if healthy — will have a good chance at earning a starting job.

Dallas has been linked to big-name safeties for years but has resisted. The team signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last year but cut the ex-Packers first-rounder before the season. This year, Quinn has Neal set to play both safety and linebacker; Kazee joins Hooker in coming off a major injury. The Cowboys lost Xavier Woods in free agency but have been aggressive in free agency, adding Jayron Kearse in addition to the March visitors.

Hooker, 25, poses as a low-cost flier who has extensive starter experience. Indianapolis deployed the former No. 15 overall pick as a first-stringer in 35 games. However, Hooker has suffered ACL, MCL and Achilles tears as a pro. This season will be pivotal to determining his path toward future guaranteed dollars.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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