Cowboys release safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix after adding him in free agency

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys released veteran safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on Thursday.

In March, the Cowboys signed Clinton-Dix to a one-year, $3.75 million deal that included a $1.25 million signing bonus. The team also guaranteed $1 million of his $2.25 million base salary, but the move frees up $1.5 million in cap room.

Clinton-Dix opened training camp working with the first-team defense but was quickly supplanted by Darian Thompson. Clinton-Dix spent parts of five seasons playing for Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy with the Green Bay Packers before being traded to Washington in 2018. He played last season for the Chicago Bears.

The Cowboys were interested in Clinton-Dix because of his ability to take the ball away (16 career interceptions), but he did not perform up to expectations in camp.

By cutting Clinton-Dix, the Cowboys must believe Xavier Woods' groin injury is not severe enough to keep him out of the Sept. 13 regular-season opener. Woods has not practiced since suffering the injury Sunday.

In addition to Woods and Thompson, the Cowboys have Donovan Wilson and Luther Kirk at safety, but cornerbacks Daryl Worley, Chidobe Awuzie, Reggie Robinson and Saivion Smith have played some safety in training camp.

The move creates a need at safety and could spark discussions about veteran Earl Thomas, who was released by the Baltimore Ravens on Aug. 23 for conduct detrimental to the team.

The Cowboys and Thomas have been linked starting in 2017, when he walked arm in arm to the Dallas locker room with Jason Garrett, telling the then-coach to "come get me." The Cowboys made a trade offer to the Seattle Seahawks in 2018 that was rebuffed. The Cowboys did not get into the serious bidding to sign Thomas as a free agent in 2019 before he joined the Ravens.

The Cowboys had internal discussions regarding Thomas after his release but had not moved toward signing him.