Questions and Concerns

The season is over and I have to admit that it has taken me awhile to get over the loss. There have been a lot of questions about the coaches management of the game but I for one refuse to go with that story line. Fans have talked about the discrepancy of calls against the team but you should never leave the game up to the referees. The reality is that this game was winnable but the bend but don’t break defense finally broke. I don’t want to single out the defense not because it’s not deserved but because at this point it doesn’t matter and now is the time for the staff to take a breather before moving into draft preparations. One of the things that I learned from this loss is that the NFL waits for no man or fan, so we have to move on and that’s what I am going to do.

As the offseason progresses for the team, there are many decisions that need to be made and it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys front office proceeds for the 2017-2018 season. The team has a large amount of free agents and little salary cap room so they will have to be frugal in the free agent market and have another successful draft class. There will be a large amount of holes to fill but here are the top three areas that the Cowboys will have to pay attention to when the new league season starts in March.

Cornerback: Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr will be free agents and Jerry will have to make a decision on blowing up the position with mid-level free agents and draft picks or resigning one of the above players and draft a cornerback in the first three rounds. If i had to choose, I would roll the dice on Claiborne with a two year contract for ten million with playing incentives and see if he bites because the reality is that there won’t be a lot of teams looking at the oft-injured defensive back.

Defensive End: This position will be an sore spot for the Cowboys until they invest a first round pick to Rod Marinelli’s rush-men. The team has tried to plug and play individuals who are at best rotational players. If you are depending on Jack Crawford and David Irving to be five to eight sack players, you are doomed. That is no disrespect to either player because they have bought a solid work ethic to the team but they should be fifteen to twenty  per game players not staples of the pass rush. Jerru Jones should be begging for Tank Lawrence  to have his surgery so that he can be ready for training camp. Charles Tapper is the defensive end from Oklahoma who was placed on injured reserve early in the season so there is some hope that he will be able to reverse the misfortune he had in 2016.

3. Offensive Line: It’s time for the Cowboys to make a decision on Doug Free and his five million dollar salary. To put it bluntly, Doug Free was exposed and its time to find his replacement. In previous articles I have mentioned the possibility of moving La”el Collins to Right Tackle and find another guard in the draft. It’s not like the tackle position is foreign to Collins and his athleticism would allow him to learn on the job and be highly effective. Losing Ron Leary will fetch the Cowboys a 4th rounder in compensation.

So Mote It Be!

Roger Haywood
Writer at CowboysNation.com on the SportsTalkLine Network where sports is old school and the writing is new age. Living in the city of sin, it's hard to be an angel.
Roger Haywood
Roger Haywood

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  • housedj75

    2 DE, 2 CB, MLB, RT… in some from or fashion via the draft (plenty to do in FA as well, just hope this year looks something like this)

  • hardwater

    If the Cowboys can pay Leary $5 million/year or so and move Collins to RT that’s a wash on salary and your OLine is beyond awesome assuming Collins can perform at RT. The Cowboys need to draft DE’s and CB’s by the dozen in upcoming draft.

  • daledoe

    Other than the first 3 possessions I thought the defense played pretty well. Had the offense started a bit faster this game wouldn’t have gotten away from us. I look at the final four teams in the playoffs and I don’t see any defense that wows me. We absolutely need to improve but I don’t see the need for a complete rebuild.
    My biggest issue with officiating was that the GB offensive line held blatantly throughout and weren’t called even once.

    • Taylor

      Agreed. Dallas is fairly competent on d, certainly not dominating, but no one has slowed Rodgers. Great, now I’m back to the 3rd and 2. Dammit.

    • Michael

      I largely agree. But I think adding speed at LB would make a world of difference to this defense. Jaylon Smith might be part of that upgrade but I don’t think he alone will make the difference.