The Cowboys locked up veteran safety Gerald Sensabaugh for the next five years today. to the tune of $8 million guaranteed. The full deal would give the player $22.5 million over it's life, as the seventh-year pro has spent the last two-plus seasons on a string of three one-year deals.
Sensabaugh, 28, was often overlooked when Cowboys fans discussed the team signing a safety in the offseason, but as top-tier and middle-road players signed lucrative deals elsewhere Sensabaugh became more intriguing. Looking at his performance this year, he would probably be one of the more sought after safeties in free agency next year, and the Cowboys had no interest in getting into a bidding war for his services.
The former Jacksonville Jaguar now has the security most NFL players look for. His impact for the defense this year was probably most evident when the Cowboys played Detroit earlier in the season. Gerald collected his first interception of the season on Matthew Stafford. Dallas was able to shut down Calvin Johnson for much of the first half, until Sensabaugh went out of the game with concussion-like symptoms. We all remember Megatron's second half performance that included a jump ball catch in between three defenders, none of which was Sensabaugh.
After that game, I was able to catch up with Gerald in an exclusive Blogging The Boys interview to discuss his impact on the defense, as well as his annual one-year contracts and a quest for more stability.
Jump to the 2:22 mark for our discussion of his contract situation, at the time.
Pro Football Focus ranks Sensabuagh as the league's tenth-best safety so far this year, under their cumulative game grades. He has 2 interceptions and two forced fumbles, and has the flexibity to play coverage and run support from both safety positions.