The Dallas Cowboys’ defense was the third worst in NFL history. Take a second to take that in. In the past two seasons, the Cowboys have been ravaged by injuries on the defensive side of the ball. While the Cowboys had the worst pass defense in the NFL, a lot of that had to do with how their defensive line did not get enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Without the ability to generate a pass rush, the secondary was exposed.
There is no question that Jerry Jones will upgrade this defense. Basically, the entire defensive line and almost everyone in the secondary needs to get better. DeMarcus Ware will most likely take a pay cut to help this team. Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer will probably be allowed to exit in free agency. So, this leaves spots at the defensive tackle position and the defensive end position. George Selvie played admirably at the left defensive end position this past season, but I don’t expect him to produce going forward the same way he did in 2013.
If the season started right now, the Cowboys’ starting defensive line would be DeMarcus Ware, Nick Hayden, Ben Bass, and George Selvie. Hayden was horrible in 2013, failing to even register a single sack. There are high hopes for Ben Bass, but he was out for the year after an injury in the beginning of the season. The defensive line is a mess, and it needs to be re-tooled. There is also the need at the free safety position, where the Cowboys are lacking a true ball-hawk.
The defense needs to be addressed, but getting more offensive players is needed too. Dez Bryant has back problems. If the receiver ever needed to sit out a game, I don’t really trust Terrance Williams as a number one receiver. The Cowboys are most likely going to cut ties with Miles Austin, as he is a shell of his former self. Drafting a receiver like Brandon Coleman or Cody Hoffman would give the Cowboys another dynamic to their offense. New offensive coordinator Scott Linehan loves to throw the football. Getting a tall weapon like Coleman or Hoffman would help out this inconsistent offense.
Between the two, I like Coleman more. The Rutgers product is a 6’4″ receiver who can go up and bring down any pass thrown to him. If he were available in the fourth round, I think the Cowboys should pull the trigger on the raw, but talented receiver. If Brian Waters decides to retire, the Cowboys have an opening at the right guard position. Mackenzy Bernadeau played well when he played. But, he has had his issues in the past. Also, left guard Ronald Leary has a chronic knee problem. A player like Cyril Richardson or Gabe Jackson would be a day-one starter to an already pretty good offensive line. Both are road-graders, and both could create some holes for Pro Bowler DeMarco Murray.
There is also a need for a backup quarterback. Tony Romo is going to be 34 years old when the 2014 NFL season comes around. The Eastern Illinois-grad isn’t getting any younger, and he has had his fair share of back problems. On the third day of the draft, the Cowboys could pick up a quarterback like Stephen Morris or David Fales. Both are capable of running an NFL offense, and both could learn how to cope with being the starting quarterback of America’s team.
For the Dallas Cowboys to start preparing for the future, they must make upgrades on both sides of the ball. There is room for improvement across this team, and it starts with the front office. By drafting immediate contributors, the Cowboys can get younger fast. Tony Romo, Jason Witten, and DeMarcus Ware aren’t getting any younger, and the window for a Super Bowl win is closing. The time is now to win in Dallas.