Desperate for safety help, Cowboys hosting ex-Steeler Will Allen

By Larry Hartstein | Senior Analyst

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Safety Will Allen, here breaking up a pass against K.C., will visit the Cowboys on Monday. (USATSI)

The Cowboys have a gaping hole at strong safety and almost no money to sign one.

Some draft experts think Dallas will pick Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro with the 18th overall pick. But CBSSports.com experts see a bigger need at defensive tackle.

Against that backdrop, Dallas is bringing in 30-year-old free agent Will Allen for a visit Monday that almost certainly won't excite the fan base. Linebacker Justin Durant also is scheduled to visit.

Allen, a veteran special teams player, started seven games for the Steelers last season in place of the injured Troy Polamalu. He made 34 tackles, defended three passes and forced a fumble. If the Cowboys find the money to sign him, Allen would compete with last year's fourth-rounder Matt Johnson for the spot opposite Barry Church.

Dallas released last year's starting strong safety, Gerald Senabaugh, after a subpar season.

Durant started 14 games for the Lions last season, making 103 tackles. He could compete for the strongside linebacker job in Dallas.

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