How the Dallas Cowboys improve their depth

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 18: Mike White #3 of the Dallas cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 18: Mike White #3 of the Dallas cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

If you have watched the first two preseason games, one thing is apparent, the Dallas Cowboys need to improve their depth.

If you have watched the first two Dallas Cowboys preseason games, one thing is apparent, the starters are looking good on both sides of the ball. Most will agree, the offense has been solid. Sure there have been a few hiccups, a few minor injuries, and some players haven’t even seen the field. But all in all, they’ve done well.

On defense, the starters have looked dominant. Plain and simple. Where the Cowboys have struggled across the board is when the backups get on the field.

Once the backups are in, the offensive line looks sloppy, the entire secondary looks beatable, and the quarterbacks look frustrated, hurried, and out of sync. Much of that could be pinned on the offensive line, but there are issues all over, regardless.

There are ways the Cowboys can get better. With cuts coming and some free agents out there, the Cowboys have both the cap space and desire to get better. It may not be easy, but it is possible.

The Secondary

I could easily start with the offensive line, but in order to improve that, I think spending in the secondary will show how much money they have to work the offensive line. With recent injuries to the safeties, there is a high need to get improve and add.

While many fans are screaming for Jerry to “pull the trigger” on the Earl Thomas trade, the real deal is that Seattle is the problem, not Jerry. The Seahawks have been in no hurry to do anything with Thomas. They want a second rounder and no less, period.

With that and Thomas wanting $11 million a year, the Seahawks are willing to sit on Thomas, fine him, collect, and let him be unhappy. Sure, the Cowboys could make an offer, but if it doesn’t have a second round pick attached, it’s not going to happen right now.

So of course some fans want Eric Reid. Even though Reid has stated if he is signed he won’t kneel anymore, he has an active collusion case against the NFL. That seems like a lot of press Jerry Jones doesn’t want. He has stated how he feels about the situation, and Reid is right in the middle of it.

That brings us to George Iloka. Recently released by the Bengals, Illoka can play both safety positions. He would command about $5 million a year. While he is no Thomas, he is an upgrade for the Cowboys. The only issue is that Iloka has been very outspoken about the protests. While he hasn’t taken a knee himself and said he won’t, he has been publicly very vocal in support. No matter your stance, we all know Jerry’s. Iloka seems like the most likely possibility right now, unless another team signs him.

With a $5 million price tag, that leaves the Cowboys with about $9 million to spend. Some of that money can be used on someone like Keyvon Webster. He is recovering from an injury, and added as depth, he should still be better than Anthony Brown.

Update: It looks like the Cowboys are still considering Iloka “for the right price”, but are bringing in Jeron Johnson. Johnson used to play with the Seahawks and Redskins and has only started three games in his career. He has one pass defended and zero interceptions in six seasons. Kris Richard is familiar with him, and would probably be very cheap as a pickup. They have also signed Dominick Sanders, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Georgia. There could still be a viable veteran the Cowboys could look at.

Offensive Line

If you have watched any of the second and third string players, you will quickly see Chaz Green has been horrible. And horrible might actually be too light of a word. While it looks like the Cowboys have serviceable depth at Tackle and Center, Guard is a huge issue.

RIght now it looks like Denver might be cutting Max Garcia. When Ronald Leary went down last season, Connor McGovern stepped in and played so well, he is taking over Garcia’s spot. That leaves Garcia a potential cut since he would save about $1.5 million for Denver. He could stick around for depth, but there are rumblings. If he does hit the market, he would instantly be a solid depth at guard.

If in fact Garcia stays, there appears to be three viable veterans on the roster bubble. John Jerry with the Giants actually is the best of the bunch and carries a 98.4 blocking efficiency. With the drafting of Will Hernandez and the signing of Patrick Omameh, Jerry could be on his way out. The other two have had some injuries, but if healthy could be very viable backups, Andy Levitre of the Falcons and Jeff Allen of the Texans.

With the signing of one of these players and then adding to Iloka and a corner, the Cowboys would be sitting with about $5-6 million in cash. This would be perfect for the last position the Cowboys could look at.


Saying that Cooper Rush and Mike White have been bad is only part of the story. The line in front of both of them has been atrocious. So it may not be fair to say neither are viable backups at this point. However, a veteran presence might be something the Cowboys will look at, regardless of how they feel about both of them.

Grabbing a veteran quarterback off of the heap of cuts, but there could be some solid ones to add as a backup and voice. The biggest name that has been floated around is Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater would be a solid backup and wouldn’t be such a huge drop if Prescott were to get injured, compared to Rush and White. The Jets may look to keep him, but there are rumors out there.

The other veteran who could be cut (that would make any sense) would be Landry Jones. Jones is part of a crowded corps in Pittsburgh. Jones would be a sharper drop-off compared to Bridgewater, but his experience would be valuable.

There could be some others cut, but right now the names are not very appealing, Brett Hundley, and Josh Dobbs are the next two names, but neither are much of a true upgrade. This could be a wait and see position, but there could easily be someone, even if it is just for their experience to help Dak and whoever ends up on the practice squad.

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This would leave a few million left in the coffers to play with as injuries arise.


To be honest, the Cowboys may very well stand pat, but with about $14 million, it is hard to think the Cowboys won’t look for some type of improvement. Of course, if the do trade for Thomas, most of that money could go away with the $11 million per year payday he is looking for. But upgrading depth is possible.

Right now the Cowboys should be looking at depth at just about every position on the team. Maybe not running back, but all teams are always looking for players that can improve their team and all positions.

Dallas Cowboys: Why S George Iloka may not be a possibility. dark. Next

It is no secret the Cowboys depth is an issue right now. There will be roster churning, but there could be a starter or two on the horizon at certain positions. With two games left in the preseason and cuts coming September 1st, there will be time for someone to step up, but there will also be time to see what is available.

  • Published on 08/21/2018 at 17:01 PM
  • Last updated at 08/21/2018 at 12:03 PM