Dec 29, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy reacts in the tunnel during the second half of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT
We have all recognized what the problems with the Cowboys are. While many of the fans can argue about which is a higher priority, almost all of us can agree on the positions. We can assume that Jerry Jones won’t give up control, hire a GM, or realize there are problems above coaching. After we get over the fact Jerry Jones is still Jerry Jones, we can look at the coaching staff.
Free agency is never really thought of as an inclusion of coaches, but this year I will start there. If we assume Jerry Jones won’t give up a lot of control we can exclude Cowher and Gruden. I will then look at defensive head coaches starting with Dan Quinn, the Seahawks D Coordinator. He has an incredible defense and we wouldn’t need to transition a lot. If we don’t go in that direction, I would look at Mike Zimmer from Cincinnati. I know he was here as defensive coordinator years back and he is a well-versed 4-3 coach but he also installed a 3-4 defense in Dallas that he learned on the fly. When he was running a 4-3 here it was a pretty good defense. Here are my top 3 HC, DC, OC candidates. I would like to think they will replace a lot of the current coaches below them.
Note: I am not going to cover the cuts or the current players on the roster other than Hatcher, I am saying these are the top FAs for the needs of this team.
1. Dan Quinn, DC, SEA
2. Mike Zimmer, DC, CIN
3. Kevin Sumlin, HC, Texas A&M
Honorable Mention: Jim Tressel, Former HC, Ohio State
1. Mike Solari, San Francisco 49ers
2. Edgar Bennett, Green Bay Packers
3. Karl Dorrell, Houston Texans
1. Ken Norton, Seattle Seahawks
2. Jim Tomsula, San Francisco 49ers
3. Keith Butler, Pittsburgh Steelers
Now we turn our attention to the what I think is the biggest need of this team, defense. While I understand the cap, we will be looking at some of the best fills for this team, of course without going Madden on it. This defense is needing secondary help in the worst way. The next biggest need is the D-line, with of course maybe some LB help. There is an okay crop out FAs out there but I will list the top fills as I see the needs.
1. Greg Hardy, DE, CAR
2. Michael Bennett, DE, SEA
1. Jason Hatcher, DT, DAL (Yup have to resign him)
2. Henry Melton, DT, CHI
I think that these pickups would bolster the line and give the Cowboys some much needed pressure.
1. T.J. Ward, S, CLE
2. Jairus Byrd, S, BUF
Both of these safeties have good ball skills and good cover skills. The problem with the Cowboys is the secondary has almost no ball skills. Fixing the safety position should help the CBs not look so bad.
1. Daryl Smith, LB, BAL – Could be a great value pick, fill a hole, and be affordable.
Yup, I realize Dansby and Orakpo are out there, but let’s be honest with cap issues and age issues. These two would be a pipe dream even for a one or two year contract.
On the offensive side of the ball I will not cover and WRs, TEs, or RBs. I think we have a very good stable of skill players on offense and looking at anything in the free agency is a moot point. I will look at a backup QB, and some guards in this article.
1. Ummm, other than maybe Vick, Freeman, Henne, or Cutler, anyone have any ideas? This QB crop is weak at best.
1. Jon Asamoah, G, KC – He does block for Charles.
2. Wade Smith, G, HOU – Pro-bowl quality Guard on a team many don’t always notice.
So here we are, it is the off-season. I wish I could say I am writing this looking optimistically, but without a lot of money in the cap and Jerry Jones as the General Manager I am not very high that we will get any of these players. I would like to think I am not too far off however on the needs and those that can fill the holes on this team. Only time will tell.