With the major story-line of the off-season for the Dallas Cowboys over and done with, what can we look forward to now? After all, free agency has slowed to a crawl, and with Tony Romo now gone, there doesn’t seem to be much buzz.
That’s where the draft comes into the picture; we are in prime time draft season now and we won’t see much player movement (for any team, really) until after the draft. We are just 17 days away from early Christmas in the NFL; that’s the biggest thing to look forward to for football fans.
For the Cowboys, this draft is a big one. Of course, they are all big, but this one needs to bring help defensively. I wrote last week the cupboard isn’t exactly bare on defense, but this group needs more. More pass rush, more turnovers, and more star power. You might not think Dallas can get those things picking 28th, but this draft has the kind of depth we haven’t seen in years. It’s also especially deep where the Cowboys need the help: pass rush, cornerback and safety. Stars might just be around the corner.
Another thing to look forward to appears to be coming even sooner, the release of the NFL schedule. It is supposedly set to drop the week of April 17th and most football fans can’t wait to get a look at when and where their team will be playing. The annual obsession and review of the schedule from Cowboys fans is a rite of passage. As usual, I will be breaking that down for you here as well, even if it is an overrated fascination.
The Cowboys also begin their off-season training program on April 17th, their first Organized Team Activity is May 23, which runs periodically through June 7th, and their mandatory minicamp is June 13-15th. From then on, the Cowboys will be sweating out the rest of the off-season, hoping no one gets in trouble until training camp begins sometime in late July (dates not confirmed yet).
Maybe the biggest thing to look forward to before the 2017 season kicks off, though, is the extension coming for All-Pro guard Zack Martin. The Cowboys are going to wait until after Romo’s money comes off the books in early June and the deal is likely to be done around training camp. It’s a ritual the team has used with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick before him, and expect Martin to be the highest paid guard in the league. Fans waiting for a big splash signing will get their wish when Zack Martin re-ups.
Those are the things Cowboys fans can look forward to now that ‘other’ headlines have passed. Unless, of course, something breaks between now and the regular season. A probability that always exists with the Dallas Cowboys, and Jerry Jones.
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