By Paul Wanecski
You can’t say that owner/general manager Jerry Jones doesn’t keep things interesting. The Cowboys had disastrous luck last season, losing top wide receiver DezBryant and quarterback Tony Romo, both top 10 players at their position when healthy. The wheels really came off the bus quickly when both went down. Now, is this a team that really deserves the 4th overall selection? They were pretty awful with Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel under center, but, offense likely won’t be the focus of this offseason
Head Coach: Jason Garrett
Career Record: 45-43
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Linehan
22nd YPG, 27th Pass, 9th Run
Defensive Coordinator: Rod Marinelli
16th YPG, 5th Pass, 22nd Run
To say things went from bad to worse is an insult to thru word worse. The offense was completely ineffective and the defense was totally exposed. Dallas boasts one of the league’s best offensive lines and certainly didn’t struggle with the carousel of running backs that carried the ball. The name of the game for the Cowboys is figuring out a way to free up some cash, as the cap number for Tony Romo, Tyron Smith, Brandon Carr and Dez Bryant is over $61.5 million.
Dez Bryant has his full salary guaranteed at $9m, with a $4m signing bonus. Do I recommend that they convert some of that base into signing bonus to lower this year’s cap figure? Nope, this is by far his most affordable cap year. This should be a last resort.
Tony Romo is in a similar situation, since his prorated signing bonus is already over $12m this season. His cap number is also set to skyrocket.
Tyron Smith can give some cap relief, as his bonus is only $4m with a base of $10m. His future cap numbers are not really out of scope for the type of player they are projecting him to become. You can save some money here.
Morris Claiborne is one of many cornerbacks that Dallas has touted. With the ability to grab a CB in the draft early in the 2nd, letting Claiborne walk won’t destroy the secondary.
Rolando McClain was a great reclamation project for Dallas. He likely feels it is time that he earned himself a better contract but Dallas has to prioritize. The could have the room for him but any commitment would be short term
Greg Hardy has not had any extension talks with Dallas yet and that comes as little surprise; his signing was highly criticized and the word out of the locker room was not positive. With his departure, Dallas could look to add a defensive end early in the draft
Jack Crawford will not be expensive or amazingly productive but does turn into an affordable handcuff as Hardy’s replacement, meaning the team will not have to worry about drafting and inserting a rookie right away.
Lance Dunbar was effective at times so he can be brought back since few teams will garner him much interest.
CB Jalen Ramsey is an intriguing prospect, especially since it is unlikely they will be bringing Claiborne back in Dallas, and we know how much them Cowboys love them cornerbacks
If DE Joey Bosa slips to 4th, he is a Cowboy, barring anything major happening off the field.
QB Jeff Driskel made quite the impression at the Senior Bowl. He is not a first or second round pick by any measure, but when your QB is a 35 year old Tony Romo, you have to start thinking of the future sometime.
Insert rumor that Dallas wants LB/RB Miles Jack here. Honestly, Jack is racing around most mock drafts simply because no one knows what to do with him. He doesn’t go 4th overall.
You need to bring in someone not named Kellen Moore to play QB if Romo were to go down and the league presents plenty of options. Chase Daniels, Colt McCoy both make sense
Linebacker, linebacker, linebacker. It would be anticipated that Karlos Dansby is going to be released and he would fit in nicely.
Don’t ever think that RB Darren McFadden will survive a year without getting injured. The team could bring back Robert Turbin or bring in several other backs like Bryce Brown to make sure they don’t stall on the ground.
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On the Clock: 2015 Dallas Cowboys