Dallas Cowboys: Cowboys need veteran free agents

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 06: Kenny Vaccaro
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 06: Kenny Vaccaro /

The Dallas Cowboys have a young team on both sides of the ball, but signing a  veteran free agent or completing a trade can put this team over the top.

The Dallas Cowboys finished the 2017 season with a disappointing  9-7 record with Super Bowl aspirations. But with the suspension of running back, Ezekiel Elliott and All-Pro tackle Tyron Smith missing a few games the Cowboys offense got stuck in neutral and never recovered.

With a more young and experienced team returning next season, the Cowboys need to sign key free agents that can help them get back to the Super Bowl. It’s not a coincidence that the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl because of free agent wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith.

Jeffery and Smith were key contributors throughout the season and one of the reasons why quarterback Carson Wentz was on track to win league MVP honors. After witnessing the Cowboys up and down season, Dallas needs to do the exact same thing.  Here are two players the franchise can sign as a free agent or trade for the other.

Cole Beasley and Jason Witten were the only receivers who had some production, but with Beasley facing double teams on third down, it was easy to defend this offense all over the field.

Kenny Vaccaro

Vaccaro would be a good fit for the Dallas’ secondary simply because the defense needs an upgrade at the safety position. Former first-rounder Byron Jones and reserve special team player Jeff Heath struggled enough in 2017 that someone else needs to do the job.

Since Jones might be moved to the corner position, having someone of Vaccaro’s caliber will be beyond helpful. At 26 years of age, the former first rounder had a decent season as he recorded 1.5 sacks, 60 tackles, defended seven passes, and had a career-high with three interceptions.

Although Vaccaro has known to be inconsistent in his career with his play, the former Texas Longhorn will make more plays, be in a position to make key tackles, and play better coverage than Jones or Heath. If Dallas moves Jones to cornerback (where he plays better), why not use some of their salary cap to improve one of the most important positions on defense?

Besides, Vaccaro can be a mentor to Xavier Woods and Kavon Frazier.

Emmanuel Sanders

The Cowboys wide receiving corps looked like a shell of their former self, compared to the 2017 season. Former Pro Bowler Dez Bryant didn’t play like one of the highest paid wide receivers in the NFL, led all receivers in dropped passes, had several tipped balls turned into interceptions, and was basically shut down by both elite and average cornerbacks.

Simply put, Dez didn’t play like a number one receiver and his fellow teammate, Terrance Williams, didn’t fare much better. Williams dropped passes and tipped balls that were intercepted or returned for touchdowns.

Cole Beasley and Jason Witten were the only receivers who had some production, but with Beasley facing double teams on third down, it was easy to defend this offense all over the field.

That’s why a trade for Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will vastly improve the Cowboys’ receiving corps. If Dallas can get Sanders for a mid to late round pick, they should pull the trigger on the trade.

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Sanders will bring experience, great route running, good hands, and third down threat to go along with Beasley. Having a receiver that can catch the ball and run after contact will be well received by Cowboys Nation, let alone the coaching staff.

Beasley didn’t have his best year in 2017 because of injuries and quarterback play. However, he’s really good when healthy and will be a player Dak Prescott can rely on.

I’m aware that Sanders recorded 555 receiving yards, 47 receptions, and two touchdowns last season, but that can be attributed to bad quarterback play and having an injury. I believe he’ll perform to his maximum potential. Remember, Sanders played with two other future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning, and he was incredibly productive.

I’m not putting a young Dak Prescott in that class of elite signal callers, but he is certainly better than Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch, regardless of how he struggled in his second year.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Should the Cowboys trade for Emmanuel Sanders?

I expect Dallas to make a move in free agency or a trade because they saw how it benefited their hated rival who won the Super Bowl, those hated Philadelphia Eagles.