The Dallas Cowboys added a significant boost to their secondary on Saturday afternoon, signing former Atlanta Falcons safety Keanu Neal to a one-year, $5 million deal, per
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 20, 2021
">NFL insider Tom Pelissero.
Neal will join re-signed cornerbacks Jourdan Lewis and CJ Goodwin on the secondary free-agent signee list.
After he was selected with a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Neal got off to an excellent start in his professional career with the Falcons. In his rookie season, the talented young safety notched 106 tackles through 14 starts. His second season saw even better numbers, logging 116 tackles, two fumble recoveries and one interception en route to a 2017 Pro Bowl selection.
The biggest knock on Neal is his injury-prone history. In a season-opening game against the Eagles in 2018, the Atlanta safety suffered a season-ending knee injury. After returning to play in 2019, Neal suffered another season ender in Week 3 -- this time an Achilles injury.
After all this injury hardship, the 25 year old made a solid comeback in 2020. Through 15 games and 14 starts, Neal recorded yet another 100+ tackle season and added an interception as well.
Earning $6.46 million in base salary on the final year of his Falcons contract in 2020, Neal will take a pretty significant pay cut playing for the Cowboys in 2021.
The newly-signed addition will split time with 2019 late-round draft pick Donovan Wilson and 2016 third-round selection Darian Thompson on the Dallas safety depth chart.