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!