Yes, it could be considered "Safe" or "Smart"
I was surprised to see Cain never take JDS's back, it was there to be taken several times, but I suppose as a wrestler he may have preferred to control him instead. Also as Dana eluded to, Cain did in fact have JDS hurt several times on the feet... JDS has an excellent chin, but anyone can be put out... Cain knows how dangerous JDS is, so he may have not went for the finish.
Im definitely not hating on Cain, im a fan of his... I just appreciate the guys that do go for the finishes... while obviously having to go through danger to get there... Like Anderson, Aldo, Jones.