Cowboys sign S Malik Hooker, 1st-round pick by Colts in 2017

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys signed safety Malik Hooker on Tuesday, adding the 2017 first-round draft pick who couldn’t stay healthy in four seasons with Indianapolis.

Hooker visited the Cowboys in March but didn’t sign. He was drafted 15th overall by the Colts before battling shoulder, groin and knee injuries until a torn Achilles tendon ended his 2020 season after two games.

Dallas placed offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt on injured reserve to make room for Hooker, who wasn’t re-signed by the Colts after his rookie contract expired. Hyatt is coming off a knee injury.

“I think it’s clearly an opportunity to add another excellent player,” coach Mike McCarthy said. “We had a chance to bring him in and he’s completed his rehab.”

Hooker, who had seven interceptions in 36 games with Indianapolis, could play a role in the retooling of the Dallas secondary after safety Xavier Woods and cornerback Chidobe Awuzie left in free agency.

Donovan Wilson is the strongest candidate among the returning players to start at one of the safety spots. The Cowboys also signed Damontae Kazee, who played for new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in Atlanta.

Jayron Kearse was another veteran safety to sign with Dallas, while Keanu Neal is working at linebacker after going to the Pro Bowl as a safety with the Falcons in 2017 when Quinn was coach.

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