Report: Cowboys To Sign Steelers Free Agent Safety Will Allen

It appears that the visit Pittsburgh Steelers unrestricted free agent safety Will Allen had with the Dallas Cowboys this week went well.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Wednesday morning on Twitter that the Cowboys will eventually sign Allen, who started eight games last year for Steelers.

Allen played well when asked to fill in as a starter last season when Troy Polamalu went down with his calf injury. The Steelers initially turned to safety Ryan Mundy, but he played so poor that the Steelers turned to Allen, who was in his third year with the Steelers, instead.

During his time in Pittsburgh, Allen saw most of his action on special teams up until last season. Once Polamalu went down, however, it led to him registering 34 total tackles, one forced fumble and three passes defensed.

The Steelers have already lost Mundy to the New York Giants this offseason and appear fine with letting Allen walk off as well. The team is expected to address the safety at some point during the upcoming draft.

Robert Golden, an undrafted free agent from last season, will now presumably back up Ryan Clark at free safety, and a training camp battle between Damon Cromartie-Smith and Ross Ventrone will probably take place to see who backs up Polamalu at the strong safety spot initially until a drafted rookie is ready to step in.

  • Chris S

    Didnt he play under Kiffin in TB?

  • steeltown


    Ok, well, this makes SS a definite need in the early portion of the draft, right up there with WR and RB… we now have no experienced depth at Safety

    I would think that an early pick would beat out DCSmith and Ventrone. As it stands I think this is the last chance for Cromartie-Smith, I dont think he’s eligible for the PS any longer

  • Kevin Gobleck

    Well chalk up another comp pick…..

  • will we get a comp pic for him and when 2014?

  • RW

    Yep. Stinks. We needed a reliable backup because one of Clark or Polamalu will get hurt this season. It’s a near certainty. Good thing there’s depth at safety this year.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I actually don’t mind this signing. (Just hear me out…)

    It’s about roster spots. At the safety position it appears Clark and Polamalu are locks for 2013. I would think we double dip at S in the draft (probably a SS as higher priority). That’s four spots. And we probably keep one more S (either Golden or Cromartie-Smith).

    Had we kept Allen it might help up this year (for depth) but he is not a long term starter. Better to draft two high upside potential starters, put them on the fast track, and get one of them starting in 2014. With the other ready to start in 2015 depending on injury/retirement.

    I honestly don’t think there’s a huge drop off between Allen and Golden or Cromartie-Smith. Both of those other guys know the playbook just as well as Allen and appear to have better quickness. Same situation with Mundy. I’ll take the comp pick and draft a player with more upside.

  • Chris S

    Who knows…it depends on contract, playing time, etc…and also on how many FA’s you lost (and where they fit, contract/playing time/etc) versus how many you sign (and where they fit) and so on. He’s probably just going to be a backup/depth player for them I’d assume…with a smaller contract…so I doubt he will effect the comp picks much next year.

  • walter mason

    I dont think we get a comp pick because we didnt draft him.

  • walter mason

    What depth? After Polamalu and Clark we have nothing and like you said one will probably be hurt.

  • steeltown

    I think he meant depth in the 2013 draft

  • steeltown

    I think with another offseason under his belt, Golden will easily secure the backup FS spot behind Clark. He already surpassed DCSmith last season on the depth chart, but without W.Allen we now have issues behind Polamalu

    I dont see DCSmith or Ventrone as capable backups, I guess we’ll see. BUT I sure hope they land a TOP SS Prospect… again I guess we’ll see

    DCSmith reminds me of Mundy

  • steeltown

    Yep, played under Kiffin for 4-5yrs in Tampa

  • Addison

    I think he means in the draft

  • Rubem Dornas

    Cowboys have less than $100 k in cap space! How are they able to do that move?

  • dgh57

    The odds of drafting a Safety just went up!! And there are some good ones to choose from!!(Cyprien, Vaccarro, Elam, Reid, Thomas, ect., ect.)

  • redneckmuslim

    I do appreciate the optimism. I hope you’re right about the drop off after Allen. I feel pretty good about Golden. Cromartie-Smith is probably running out of chances to stick.

    I wonder if Golden would come off the bench first at both safety spots since he played SS at Arizona? I wonder if we even offered Allen anything or we just let him walk like Keenan? I wonder if the number of safeties available in the draft this year factored into our strategy with Allen and Mundy? Lots to wonder.

    If we want to be really optimistic, I guess there is always a chance that Troy stays on the field the entire season.

  • Jollyrob68

    Golden will be the future and I think he’s going to team upwith his old partner TJ McDonald.
    TJ McDonald,Rontez Miles,Shawn Williams are the Safeties I can see them drafting after Rd 1.

  • SteelSpine

    You are nuts to say there’s not a significant drop off now from Will Allen to Golden/Cromartie-Smith. It’s saying there is no significant dropoff from a decent or average NFL player Will Allen, down to zero. Golden & Cromartie-Smith have shown zero thusfar. And it’s baseless & probly ridiculous sayng Golden & C-S know the playbook as well as a starter vet who played both free & SS here.

  • SteelSpine

    Easy. Cuts etc.

  • zipposteelers

    If they sign bradshaw and Keith Butler really does feel like JW can handle OLB position, Safety could be a high draft choice this year. However the team needs someone to contribute right away and not sure Safety is the spot that could contribute right away.

  • SteelSpine

    Funny how so many people raved about how we need to re-sign Will Allen then now he was not a decent safety or even a decent backup safety, only because he earned the offer he gets from another team. So if McClendon signs with another team, then people will spin-doctor by saying McClendon stunk here.

    Cryboys were even thinner at safety than we are, & that’s saying alot. Bottom line is Will’s gonna start at S for Cryboys vs if Cryboys spend any draftpick on a S even 1st round a rookie safety isn’t going to start for most teams, so it’s a no-brainer for some team to sign him. If Cryboys didn’t sign him, someone else woulda made him an offer he earned by taking advantage of the shot the coaches gave him last year. Props to Allen for saving us from Mundy last year.

  • steeltown

    Woah dont even talk like that (re McLendon) ha!

    I agree

    Im not implying re-sign Allen and then we’re fine at the position, we should and will draft a Safety this year, BUT we shoulve ALSO re-signed W.Allen for ONE more season

    Polamalu, Clark, W.Allen, Golden and a rookie draft pick… wouldve been nice

  • maybe we need to scoop of anthony armstrong. the WR that the cowboys releasted to make cap space for Will Allen…

  • mokhkw

    Why do I get the feeling that Chris Hope is about to return to the Steelers?
    There are a few quality Vet Safeties still available in FA that would suit the Steelers cap situation.

  • Calm down. We have 2 Pro Bowl safeties. Troy is going to play every game this year. Mark my words!

  • steeltown


  • Maurice_hill_district

    Nice. And I hope you’re right about vet safeties.

    Problem is it will only be whichever of the FA the vets who will agree to play for the vet minimum. Plus the infamous learning curve time to learn LeBeau’s system.

  • steepens

    ouch. ok, well, now the pain has spread to me physically. It’s not this one in particular, but all of them combined. I thought the bloodletting would have ceased by now. dam.

  • steepens

    oh plz McLendon don’t go.

  • steepens

    Agreed. Maybe even trade out of the first round, stockpile picks, since there are so many needs.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Apparently the Steelers coaches feel differently about Allen than you do. (As do the Tamps Bay coaches who let him go as well.) If he was as good as you are describing the Steelers wouldn’t let him walk ESPECIALLY after Mundy left. I believe Allen is a career back up. Just like Golden and Cromartie Smith. But the latter two have much more upside IMO. If you think Allen is significantly better than those two we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

  • walter mason

    Well unless Im missing something, they dont give comp picks for free agent signings so Im assuming the Steelers cannot receive a comp pick for losing Allen.

  • walter mason

    OK thanks

  • LucasY59

    I agree its all about roster spots and upside (Yes, Allen played well last year, but he’s 30+ the Steelers are trying to get younger) I also think Golden will be the main backup for both safety positions with rookies as depth (Golden played some defensive snaps last year and if an injury happens, Lebeau has to let them play if needed) Cromartie-Smith could be gone unless they do not pick any of the capable S prospects in the early rounds, especially if they end up drafting two. There is no reason to carry more than 5 safeties on the roster.
    For the last couple years many have complained that they did not have good depth behind Polamalu and Clark, now that they are trying to replace those players some are upset they are leaving?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That last sentence really sums it up fro me. Our back ups behind Troy and Ryan were not starter quality and (IMO) never were going to be. So why keep them around? So they can come in (after an injury) and give us a B- performance? Why not bring in a younger faster player who might only give us a C+ performance now but at least offers the possibility to blossom into a starter?

  • SteelSpine

    The complaints of depth was, all we had is Will Allen & he was to become an unrestricted FA. I don’t recall reading anyone say they are upset Mundy is leaving. Our only depth was Will Allen, & Will left therefore naturally I & other people don’t like it. If you are right that we will have to count on Golden as the main backup for both safety positions, there’s not any good play there yet for me & other fans to be happy to count on that.

  • RW

    Yes I meant the draft. My apologies.

  • RW

    It’s easy to let someone walk when you have no cap room to sign them…

  • LucasY59

    Allen hardly played or did nothing impressive when he did, until last season (which of course was his last year) so most complained that he was just a special teams guy that only seemed to make the roster because he was Tomlin’s guy. The Steelers need an upgrade in talent and YOUTH at Safety and Allen is not that guy