Exclusive Interview: Will Dallas Cowboys Safety Malik Hooker Be Ready for Training Camp?

Dallas Cowboys safety Malik Hooker is ready to build upon his success from last season, but will he be ready for camp after an offseason surgery?

Dallas Cowboys safety Malik Hooker is ready to help unleash the “three-headed monster” this season, and he knows it all starts at training camp.

Hooker talked with PFN to give the latest update on his recovery from an offseason surgery, what teammate he has been training with to get even better, and his expectations for the safety room in 2023.

Will Malik Hooker Be Ready for Camp?

It was announced in February that Hooker underwent surgery for a dislocated thumb after the season ended.

Hooker told PFN that he has not been cleared yet but has been doing offseason training to prepare for camp.

“It’s feeling great; it’s healthy. It’s not really a big deal. I played all last year with it, so it’s going good. I’m happy to have all of my fingers back,” said Hooker.

Training camp is still a week away, so it is to be determined if he gets fully cleared in time.

Hooker had three interceptions in 2022, tied with cornerback Trevon Diggs for second-most on the team, just behind cornerback DaRon Bland who had five.

Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse’s Offseason Training

As for what Hooker has been doing during the offseason, he has kept himself mentally and physically ready.

One of his first offseason priorities was to soak up all the family time he could. As for on-the-field training, he got in some work in Dallas with another member of the “three-headed monster” — that being none other than Cowboys safety Jayron Kearse.

“Me and [Jayron Kearse] have been battling this offseason, and I’ve been burning him too. JK, I hope you hear this too,” said Hooker with a big smile.

Hooker spoke highly of Kearse and his versatility as a player, saying that it is not an easy skill set.

“[Kearse] is a smart player. It ain’t just about physicality; you have to be real smart to be able to play multiple positions. I can’t give him enough praise because he’s a hell of a player on the field, but also a smart player off the field, too,” said Hooker.

Malik Hooker Setting Expectations High for His Team and Himself

Hooker spoke about how he wants to keep learning Dan Quinn’s defensive system even more and is still a student of the game.

“Right now, I feel like it’s the best I’ve been in the offseason as far as physically, mentally, emotionally, and looking forward to seeing what I do this year,” said Hooker.

He said he could not talk about the group enough when asked about the overall safety room with him, Kearse, Donovan Wilson, Markquese Bell, Tyler Coyle, Israel Mukuamu, and Juanyeh Thomas.

“So we just look at it like we got to set the tone, and we got to be the leaders of this defense. No disrespect to no other room because they think the same thing. But we felt like we are the engine that drives this thing, and that’s how we pride ourselves.”

Of course, he mentioned that he wants to get over this last hurdle to help break the drought and help propel his team to the NFC Championship or Super Bowl.

Hooker is well aware that things start getting put into motion for that goal at training camp, and his message a week out was simple.

“Offense better be ready this camp,” said Hooker mentioning that the defense is ready to win any challenge.

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