With fans and pundits all over the board on what the Dallas Cowboys should, could, will, and won’t do this offseason, we need to tap the breaks on a few things before we get too crazy.
This offseason for the Dallas Cowboys has been hectic already. After a very disappointing 2017, there have been talks and some moves regarding the coaching staff, players, ownership, and everything in between.
Seemingly everyone knows better than the next person on what the Dallas Cowboys need to do, but before we get that far, let’s really look at the situations:
The first topic is that of Dez Bryant. There are many who think the Cowboys need to let go of Dez Bryant because he was one of the biggest problems with the offense this past season. While Dez is not the same player he was a few years ago, he is still very much the best wideout on this team.
Cole Beasley is not a number one type receiver, Terrance Williams is barely a number two receiver, and while many think Brice Butler should be the number one, let’s be honest, he played limited snaps in limited situations. While many will say he made the most of those opportunities, I say go back to when Dez was not on the field in 2016 and look at Butler’s stats. To sum it up, they were not good. Butler has speed, but that is about all he has. While his numbers look good yardage wise, I bet you didn’t know he only had 26 yards total after the catch in 2018.
Dez still deserves a safety shading to his side of the field and commands double teams more often than not. Part of the issue was scheme, some was quarterback accuracy, and some was offensive line play. Not having Ezekiel Elliott didn’t help either.
Dez did drop balls, let’s be very clear and call it what it is. However, just watching some of Dak’s throws, he didn’t do Dez any favors. Dak has an issue leading receivers and overthrew a lot last season, which did not help the rhythm or communication between the two. This is not all on Dez. Dez runs a dig route better than anyone, but for some reason the Cowboys had him run a lot of deep out routes, which has never been his strength.
Regardless, if you release Dez, then who becomes your number one receiver? Assuming they don’t bring back fan favorite Brice Butler, there is no number one at all on the roster. A rookie would not be a number one, as it is extremely rare that happens. This would mean they would have to find one in free agency. Currently, the top of the list is Josh Gordon, who has a ton of off-field issues, Allen Robinson, who had one really good season, and Sammy Watkins who disappointed with the Rams. Not really a strong class there.
So tap the breaks a little on Dez. The smartest move, if the Cowboys want to let him go, is to draft his replacement, ask for a pay cut, and work on the scheme and quarterback play. Releasing him is a little bit of a knee-jerk reaction, when you consider everything else.
As many who have followed me for the last few years knows, I am not a proponent on Jason Garrett, even when he had winning seasons. For a ton of reasons I have wanted to see Garrett replaced, but since that isn’t happening this season, we need to tap the breaks a little. As much as it pains me to say.
The scheme on offense falls both on Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan. After a very disappointing 2017, many coordinators were replaced. While this may or may not have an effect on the scheme itself, it could have a change on how players play within it. On the flip side of that, this could be a wakeup call for Garrett, Linehan, and Rod Marinelli, that if they don’t make some changes, it will be them next season.
While I believe we know exactly who Garrett is as a head coach, 2017 was hopefully a huge learning lesson for him and the Dallas Cowboys. While there isn’t any hope of replacing him this offseason, there is a possible view forward on the staff, love it or hate it.
The Draft and Free Agency
There is a reason for mock drafts, and people need to understand what that is. First, it allows fans to see who is coming out of college, potential landing spots for players, who could and could not be available. It also gets fans introduced to many players they did not watch during the college season. Mock drafts are predictions and evaluations.
What they are not is an exact science. Understanding that, don’t riot when someone puts out a mock draft that has Dallas picking a tackle in the first round. Most likely, it will not happen, but it is almost impossible to predict what will happen.
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As for free agency, we already know what Stephen Jones has said publicly. Basically, the Cowboys will not be major players in free agency, nor have they been in the past few years.
It is doubtful the Cowboys will pursue top flight free agents at positions of need.
So when we all see another team sign a top flight free agent, we need to realize that is not the direction of the owner and staff over at The Star.
This doesn’t mean they will for sure not go after a big name, but we need to temper expectations that they won’t.
The Dallas Cowboys will add and subtract players this offseason, we can all be assured of that. What we don’t know is who and when. We need to understand that we may not agree with the direction and we may not agree with each other, however, we as fans have to live with whatever decision is made. So enjoy the conversations with other fans, read mocks, evaluate players, and predict what will happen. We all just need to make sure that it is going to be whatever it is going to be.
Then, we can praise or critique the directions the Dallas Cowboys took. After all, we will be here long after the players have retired, and ownership changes. It is still Cowboys Nation after all.