The Dallas Cowboys have addressed a glaring hole in their secondary.
Former Falcons safety Keanu Neal has agreed to terms on a one-year, $5 million deal with the Cowboys, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, per a source. The Cowboys later confirmed the signing.
Neal reunites with former Falcons head coach and newly hired Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.
A first-round pick by Atlanta in 2016, Neal is coming off a big season where the five-year veteran needed to prove he can stay healthy after two freak injuries shortened his prior two seasons. The hard-hitting safety started 14 games in 2020, compiling 100 tackles, an interception and one sack. Getting in a full season after playing in only four games from 2018-19 was huge for the 25-year-old, and Neal could benefit even more should he fit right in with Dallas.
Neal joins a Cowboys defense that allowed a franchise-record 473 points last season. The secondary, which was hamstrung by key injuries to cornerbacks Trevon Diggs and Chidobe Awuzie, can greatly use Neal's veteran experience and his trustworthy tackling against the run. Perhaps the lone bright spot in Dallas' secondary in 2020 was the breakout play of safety Donovan Wilson, who may only get better with Neal's mentorship.
The Cowboys have longed for a playmaking safety since the days of Roy Williams and perhaps they've found that in Neal.