Now that the NFL Draft is over, undrafted free agents have been signed, are the Dallas Cowboys done this offseason, or will there still be moves to be made.
The Dallas Cowboys walked away from the NFL draft with what many are seeing as an outstanding haul. Of course there will be more minor moves, undrafted free agents cut, signed, and players injured.
But what we are looking at here are some of the more major moves that may or may not happen before the start of the NFL season:
There are some fans that want to grab Earl Thomas no matter the price. They see the 29 year old still at an elite level and a second round pick (plus maybe a little more) is an absolute steal. I was am not in this camp because not only do you have to give up a pick for a 29 year old coming off an injury, but you would still have to pay him.
He wants to be paid as the highest paid safety in the game. So, for a player you might only get two to three season out of, you would have to be happy with giving up a second round pick and still pay inghim in the neighborhood of $8 million a season.
The Dallas Cowboys are trying not to carry dead money anymore. While Thomas is certainly still a good player, players above 30 usually degrade in their playing ability. Father time is undefeated after all. The value of a second round pick, and the money on top of it, seems to be a little too steep for the Cowboys. They offered a third, and Seattle never returned their call.
Thomas will be free agent after this season, so in all likelihood, unless Seattle brings down their asking price, the Cowboys may just wait until next offseason. Sure, this could lead to a bidding war, but the Cowboys will have plenty of money to go against any team out there.
Recently, the Dallas Cowboys top brass said that they believe the starting safeties are on the team. This means that Kavon Frazier, Xavier Woods, and Jeff Heath will get first crack at the two open positions. If the Dallas Cowboys do not go after Thomas, than they could look at one of the free agents if they don’t feel comfortable with one of the top three.
Current free agents include; Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, Tre Boston, and a slew of either older players. Some fans want to see Vaccaro signed, but his suspension with Adderall and his inconsistent play could be reasons no one has signed him yet.
Eric Reid, of course, has fallen into the protesting the flag spotlight. It is doubtful that Jerry Jones wants a player who does this on his team. Agree or disagree, we all know where Jerry stands on this issue. This apparently is why Boston is still a free agent as well.
This brings us to the safeties the Cowboys brought in after the draft. Kameron Kelly and Tyree Robinson are the two players listed as safeties, although I think that Donovan Olumba and Chavarious Ward are both corners who could also be looked at as safeties. Add these to the Jameill Showers, Marqueston Huff, and Jason Thompson depth from last season, and the Dallas Cowboys could play a wait and see game to grab a free agent.
Many fans and analysts were surprised that the Dallas Cowboys didn’t draft a defensive tackle at all in the draft. What many fans saw as a huge need, was apparently not seen in the same way by the Cowboys.
The Cowboys did grab DeQuinton Osbourne after the draft, and traded for Jihad Ward during the draft. They already had David Irving (he did have that crazy girlfriend incident recently), Maliek Collins, Brian Price, Lewis Neal, Daniel Ross, and Richard Ash. This doesn’t even include someone like Tyrone Crawford who can and will move around on the line.
This brings up the topic of Terrell McClain. McClain was signed by the Redskins, but as of today was cut. McClain was being played out of position in Washington and did not perform well. He could be brought back to Dallas fairly inexpensively and a move back to defensive tackle would help him.
McClain coming back is a real possibility. Rod Marinelli likes McClain and he did perform well during his time in Dallas. Of all the moves possible, this might be one of the higher likelihoods.
There are a few depth positions on defense that could see another player signed. Right now the Dallas Cowboys have five cornerbacks on the team, if we include Byron Jones. That would mean one injury and the Cowboys could be in dire need of one or two more.
The lack of depth is probably why the Cowboys decided to bring in three undrafted free agents. Chavarious Ward, Kam Kelly, and Donovan Olumba. Kelly, as listed in the safety topic above, looked much better as a safety than as a corner, but his flexibility to play both could help him.
The name I would look at to make the team in some capacity is Chavarious Ward.
This could mean that the Cowboys will soon look around for further cornerback depth. There isn’t a lot to pick from left in free agency as Bashaud Breeland failed a physical, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is 31 and since he just had gunfire break out as a pool party, he’s not really a Jason Garret kind of guy.
Teams usually cut players throughout training camp as well as shuffle their rosters up until the start of the season. There is a possibility the Cowboys could go shopping if there are any injury scares or the undrafted free agents don’t pan out.
Even with the Dallas Cowboys drafting two linebackers in Leighton Vander Esch and Chris Covington and then signing Joel Lanning, Ed Shockley, and safety turned linebacker Kyle Queiro after the draft, they could still look for more.
It is pretty assured that the starting linebackers are not in any real need of replacing, but the depth behind them could see some reshuffling. With the injury histories of all three starters, depth may be seen as a premium position of need.
Currently the depth behind the starting three really only contains one veteran in Damien Wilson. The rest of the depth are all first year players or rookies. There are still some veterans out there like NaVorro Bowman and Lawrence Timmons. There are more, and depth is really all the Cowboys are looking for.
While this is always a possibility, the Cowboys may just roll with what they have before making any serious moves. They have the money to shop, but may not like Bowman’s attitude or Timmons inconsistency. In this defense it doesn’t hurt to have depth at linebacker, so some movement could very well happen.
The only position that could see any serious additions would be at tight end. Depending on what Jason Witten does, the rest of the offense looks fairly well set.
This doesn’t mean that there won’t be players released as we progress through the offseason. Dallas grabbed Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson in the draft, and then traded for Tavon Austin (even though the idea with him is a Lance Dunbar role). The Dallas Cowboys could release a veteran like Terrance Williams if they are willing to eat his contract and Gallup looks like he is the real deal.
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The Cowboys did also bring in Malik Earl and Mitchie Murdock as undrafted free agents, so they know wide receiver is a position in need. The passing game on paper doesn’t look very impressive, so movement could happen.
At tight end, if Jason Witten does in fact walk away (which looks very likely), than the Cowboys could be in the market for a veteran presence. After Witten, the Dallas Cowboys tight ends have just nine receptions in the regular season, all of them by Geoff Swaim. While fans seem to like Rico Gathers, the Cowboys brass usually doesn’t bring his name up, but instead talk about Blake Jarwin.
The Cowboys did grab Dalton Schultz in the draft and then brought in David Wells as an undrafted free agent.
Mercedes Lewis, Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates, and even Anthony Fasano are all still available (I just had to list Fasano, you know I did). The main issue is most of the available tight ends are over 30, and Thomas doesn’t offer much in terms of blocking.
The offensive line, quarterback, and running backs are pretty well set in stone. There could be some depth shuffling, but other than that, only small moves could possibly be made. The most likely would be a veteran quarterback if the Cowboys decide that Cooper Rush, Mike White, and Dalton Sturm need more experience on the bench behind Dak Prescott. But, these moves are unlikely at best.
There will most likely be some more moves made by the Dallas Cowboys. For now, the Dallas Cowboys are fairly set baring a trade. Only Terrell McClain seems like a higher possibility, and that is not even a sure thing. The Cowboys do have money to spend if they want though.
Small moves for depth are the most likely things to happen, but of course one injury could change everything quickly. I wouldn’t sit waiting to hear a ton of news on the Cowboys signing anyone, but if it happens then just be surprised.
Every team churns the bottom of the roster, but I just don’t see the Cowboys doing much more than that. More moves could happen just before the start of the season as teams release older player after they have evaluated their rookies and younger players. The upcoming rookie mini camps will be just the start to roster evaluations.