The Dallas Cowboys have come away from this season with a lot of knowledge about who they are. Expect major changes in the offseason.
The Dallas Cowboys fanbase watched in horror as the Philadelphia Eagles took home their first Super Bowl Championship. In what was basically a lose/lose situation for Cowboy fans they could have either seen the Eagles win a title or the Patriots surpass Dallas in Super Bowl Championships.
Needless to say, neither outcome would be pleasant. This win for the Birds has to change the landscape of the NFC East fairly dramatically. Expect all eyes to be on this division deep into the offseason as plenty of players will be moved or released.
The Eagles will likely see the departure of veteran running back Darren Sproles but he is not the only player that Philadelphia will have to make a decision on. Super Bowl hero, LeGarrette Blount will see his contract expire as well as cornerback Patrick Robinson, linebacker Nigel Bradham, and safety Corey Graham.
That coupled with a looming quarterback controversy could change the fate of the Eagles franchise. With Carson Wentz sidelined by a torn ACL, Nick Foles not only got the team to the Super Bowl but delivered when it mattered most.
There are not a lot of players that know how to win a championship, now Foles can add his name to that list. The Eagles may need to make a decision when it comes to both Wentz and Foles as trade offers for both should flood the Eagles front office.
Philadelphia could land some excellent players or a package of draft picks by trading either quarterback this offseason. Let’s not forget, many of the quarterback situations in the NFC East are pretty fluid.
The Washington Redskins acquired Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs as they prepare for the departure of Kirk Cousins. The New York Giants could also see Eli Manning depart in the offseason however that is less of a certainty than it seemed a few weeks ago.
The main question for the Eagles now is, can Carson Wentz lead the team to a title or is this Nick Foles’s team for good? This win for the Eagles also illustrates the issues that faced the Dallas Cowboys all season long.
The Cowboys are lacking in depth and may have some coaching issues they need to work out. The coaching staff was criticized heavily as the play calling not really evolved which has forced Dak Prescott into some precarious situations.
One consistent thing that the Eagles did is that they had a game plan that was tailored to Foles and his strengths something the Cowboys coaching staff never really did for Dak. Another huge difference between these two franchises is the way that they approach free agency.
The Eagles built a title team from free agents and depth players. Now, this approach may not be recommended for the Cowboys but finding a playmaker at some point has to be on the to-do list.
Realistically the Cowboys have to re-sign Demarcus Lawrence and eventually Zack Martin. Those are the top priorities for this roster, however, creating enough cap space to make a play for a free agent wide receiver or safety will be important as well.
The Cowboys like to build their roster through the draft but at a certain point, they have to make an aggressive move. One of the top storylines of the offseason has to be what will the Dallas Cowboys do with Dez Bryant’s contract?
If Nick Foles is making Nelson Agholor a consistent and productive wide receiver, what is Bryant’s excuse? A bad game plan? A nagging injury? There has to be something everyone is missing because a random group of wide receivers just led their team to the Super Bowl while the Cowboys receiving corps who have been together for quite some time are sitting at home.
The only way the Cowboys will get better is if they take a harsh look at their personnel and what they really have. Moving Bryant does not seem to be the best idea but even he has to see that helping the Cowboys make cap room to put together a more competitive team has to be the number one priority.
Rebuilding the Dallas Cowboys defense has been the main priority of the last two NFL drafts however the team has neglected the offense a bit. Sure drafting Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott were the catalyst for success on this football team but they need a supporting cast.
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Cole Beasley and Terrance Williams have to be on the hot seat. Williams should either have his contract reduced or he should be traded for a mid-round pick. Now that sounds harsh, but the Cowboys can rebuild this wide receiving corps in one offseason if they have the right approach.
With 10 picks in the 2018 NFL draft, the Cowboys could easily spend three of them on the wide receiver position. The roster could use a speedy deep threat receiver and a big target to make the offense more friendly to the Cowboys third-year quarterback.
Receivers like Calvin Ridley, Tre’Quan Smith, or Christian Kirk could be the answer for the teams next top outside receiver. Bigger draft prospects such as Auden Tate, Jaleel Scott, and Marcell Ateman are all capable of creating mismatches in coverage.
Adding any one of those players to the roster would make this offense a lot more productive in the red zone. The Dallas Cowboys also could give this offense a tremendous boost by attacking this problem in free agency.
Acquiring a player like Paul Richardson, John Brown, or Marqise Lee would also go a long way in solidifying the Cowboys passing attack. One thing is certain, there is a lot of work to be done prior to the 2018 regular season.