The Dolphins have added another former Cowboy. Free-agent safety Keith Davis, a six-year vet who played his entire career in Dallas, has agreed with the fins terms. The move reunites him with, among others, Dolphins secondary coach Todd Bowles, who coached the secondary in Dallas the last three years, and Dolphins front office boss Bill Parcells, who was Davis head coach for three seasons in Dallas. Davis has started 22 games at safety in his NFL career, including 15 starts for Parcells in 2005. But he will likely make his greatest contribution to the Dolphins special teams. He was the Cowboys special teams captain last year.
I think a lot of people neglect how important special teams are. When we drafted Ginn last year, I couldn't help but think he would return at least 2 kickoffs and probably at least 1 punt for touchdowns. I was dreaming I guess. I have been a Miami fan for a long time and can't remember the last time our special teams was that bad. WE WERE HORRIBLE ! The signing of Davis gives me hope that our coaching staff will put some serious effort in making our return game what it should be. We have Ted Ginn , one of the most prolific return guys I have ever seen play football. We should be starting every series at the 30-40 yard line. I have faith that Sparano will fix this quickly.
Im not going to say Davis is going to be any thing special. What I do want to say though is alot of guys are going to say he isnt a very good cover safety which has been a pretty true statement thus far. The thing is Davis has really only had time a FS safety because of roy being at SS. Since FS have to do alot more deep coverage I believe he was just playing out of position. Davis started one game a SS when Roy got suspended and did a fine job. I think he has a chance to start and could be a solid SS for you guys.
Davis has a good combination of quickness, speed and power. He is fluid in his movements and has good change-of-direction skills. He has good upper-body strength and he is very aggressive in attacking blockers. He uses his hands well to stay unblocked. He takes good angles to the ball in pursuit. He reads quarterbacks and gets good breaks on the ball. He matches up very well against most backs and tight ends in short-area man-to-man coverage. He is a sure tackler who can make a play in space. He is a productive special teams contributor. But Davis lacks ideal top-end speed and is overly cautious. He makes few mistakes but isn't intense enough and won't make many big plays. He struggles in man-to-man coverage downfield. He has inconsistent footwork and takes some false steps. He is somewhat vulnerable to play-action fakes. He is a little undersized and has had trouble staying healthy. He wouldn't hold up well playing in the box regularly.
I know it sounds strange when talking about a guy with multiple bulletwound scars, but Keith Davis is a very good guy to have in the lockerroom. He is a natural extravert that people tend to gravitate towards, and he puts in a lot of time with younger players. He's a joker who loves to crack on his teammates and keep things loose, but he's also very passionate about the game. He's never been handed anything in the NFL, and he's had to fight, claw and scrape for everything he's got. Lockerrooms are just like any other working place, and often times you get little cliques going on ... black vs. white, offense vs. defense, big city guys vs. small town guys .... Davis was one of those guys with the Cowboys that transcended all of that. Everyone liked him. Everyone loved to be around him and listen to him joke around and laugh. Parcells typically doesn't put up with the off the field nonsense, so the fact that he kept welcoming Davis back after his shootings shows you the kind of personal affinity he had for him.
I'll never forget the Cowboys won a very emotional game in Carolina after the team suffered a devastating loss in NY the previous week. When it looked like the game was in hand, everyone on the sidelines got real emotional because all the Cowboy fans and Dallas media had been dog piling on them and kicking them while they were down the entire week. Everyone was saying their season was over. Nobody was giving them a chance to win that game. This was Romo's first ever career start after Parcells had benched Bledsoe. Suddenly it felt like a new season. The coaches and players were walking up to one another hugging and smiling. Parcells walked up to Keith Davis on the sidelines, put his arm around him and kissed him on the cheek like an old school Italian father would kiss his son on the cheek. I think Parcells always admired Davis' passion for the game and the way he turned himself into an NFL player against all odds just based on a great attitude + blood and guts spilled. Parcells would say it's being around young men like that are the reason he could never stay away from coaching.
He's not a free safety. He's more of an enforcer type of safety. It just so happens Dallas has one of those in Roy Williams. The Cowboys tried to force him into the starting free safety position, with not so good results. If he can play strong safety for the Dolphins, he should be adquate as a starter. Nothing special, won't go to any Pro Bowls, but he can plug a hole while the Dolphins focus on more critical positions like QB, LT, CB, WR, etc. in the draft.