The one thing that has really derailed the Cowboys over the past two years has been the lack of quality depth. This became more apparent than ever last season when the defensive line was decimated by injuries and the replacements were adequate to a degree. We still failed to get any real pressure on the quarterback. Jason Hatcher was able to bring the pressure from the defensive tackle position, and George Selvie was a pleasant surprise, but at the end of the day, the lack of pressure absolutely killed this team.
If I’m the Cowboys I’m looking at free agency as a chance to shore up some depth at thin positions. Linebacker, secondary, defensive line and offensive line are the main areas that need some depth upgrades.
At linebacker we are not sure how Sean Lee or Bruce Carter will hold up, they have both proven to be unreliable in the health aspect of their game. DeVonte Holloman or Kyle Wilber have proven that either could supplant Durant, so he may be released.
The secondary could use another nickel back and if they can get someone better than Heath, that would be great. A veteran presence could be well served at safety, since Wilcox and Heath have little experience and Johnson can’t stay healthy. Can you imagine if Johnson won out this offseason? How confident are you he would even last an actual season? I have zero faith in that experiment. Safety needs help.
Defensive line needs another body in there to compete with Nick Hayden. Henry Melton is the rumored name attached to the Cowboys; of course, this is assuming the Cowboys restructure DeMarcus Ware. Melton would be a nice fit, but the Cowboys better double-dip in the draft. I would still take Aaron Donald or Caraun Reid and stack up a ferocious DT squad. I don’t want to see the Cowboys roll with a free agent and Hayden, they better get another guy in there for some legit, continuous pressure on every down. Whether it be Melton or another DT, add more speedy youth guys on the line. Defensive end could use another pass rusher as well. Spencer should not be back, even at a discounted price. He can’t be relied upon at any price, this is one player I’m looking forward to being rid of, along with Miles Austin.
Offensive Line could use another versatile player, one that can play center or guard. With Phil Costa out, we don’t have a solid center behind Travis Frederick and with little depth behind Leary or Bernadeau, we could be hurting if one of these guys go down.
Ultimately, I don’t see the Cowboys doing much in free agency. Stephen Jones has already come out and basically said free agency is overrated and not the way to build a team. It can; however, help with adding some depth upgrades. If we are going to be like other teams with the “next man up” frame of thought, then we better have something decent there. With the Cowboys with little wiggle room, the Cowboys will likely add one decent player and perhaps another one as a filler.
The best offseason move thus far has been the re-signing of Dan Bailey, he could very well be our biggest splash this offseason and if the NFL moves the extra points from the 25 yard line, then the move looks even better. All eyes will be glued to the tv and smartphones tomorrow as we see who is leaving and coming to Dallas. Tomorrow and the following days will definitely give us a clearer picture of what we may be doing for the draft. So, in essence, the draft strategy ramps up tomorrow. Free Agency will shakeup all the pre-free agency mock drafts we have been playing with the last couple of weeks. Get ready!