What do the Dallas Cowboys need most this offseason?

: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports
: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys have a lot of free agency decisions to make over the next few months, but with these free agency decisions will also come decisions about the roster as a whole. With the team having twenty-four (24) free agents and some possible cuts (Demarcus Lawrence, Amari Cooper, and Greg Zuerlein have all been mentioned) the needs of this team could shift drastically depending on their path forward.

As we look at each position group, we won’t just look at starters, but how the overall depth looks. Without knowing the moves the team will make, there are some assumptions that have to be made. However, instead of ranking need or grouping them into priority, we will simply look at the need and possible need. Let’s look at each position group with perhaps the easiest group first.

So what exactly do the Dallas Cowboys need heading to improve their team for the 2022 NFL Season?

Well, a little of everything, maybe.


No, the Dallas Cowboys do not need a starting quarterback, but with only Cooper Rush as the backup, adding depth couldn’t hurt. There is always the possibility of adding a veteran, but Rush played well in his appearance this season and a rookie will probably not push Rush. So, the Cowboys will probably bring in camp arms after the draft, but the only possibility in free agency will come if they want a veteran.

Running Back

Another position the Cowboys probably won’t make any moves at is running back. With Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard pretty much locked in as the top two running backs in 2022, Rico Dowdle and Ja’Quan Hardy are on the roster, but next season does provide an out for the team on Elliott’s contract. This could be a year the Cowboys grab a later round running back to develop if they feel Dowdle and Hardy are not going to be part of the answer in 2023.

Wide Receiver

This one is probably one of the hardest to figure out. Without knowing how the Cowboys will approach the position, there could be a huge need here both in free agency and possibly the draft. Noah Brown and Cedrick Wilson are both free agents along with Michael Gallup and should the Cowboys decide to move on from Amari Cooper, the wide receiver room is suddenly CeeDee Lamb and Simi Fehoko as your top two receivers.

Odds say that Wilson, Brown, or both are targets in free agency, but the draft could also provide some answers. If the Cowboys lose Gallup, Amari, and even one of the others, a first-round wide receiver may not be out of the question.

Tight End

Another position that could be a need will be tight end. With Dalton Schultz hitting the open market and looking be more than the Cowboys will want to spend, the corps becomes oft-injured Blake Jarwin, Sean McKeon, and Jeremy Sprinkle. This draft is loaded with tight ends, but even if the Cowboys believe they can roll with what they have, they need a tight end who can block better than what they have on the roster.

Offensive Line

I could break down each position on the line, but really it is easier this season to group it as one. Connor Williams is a free agent and there are a lot of people who believe he will not return, that leaves left guard as a need.

However, we also saw regression from Tyler Biadasz at center, another injury to Tyron Smith, and some up and down play by La’el Collins. As injuries happened it appeared the Cowboys do not have an answer for left tackle behind Smith currently.

Steele looked serviceable on the right side, but was not the answer on the left. They don’t know what they have in Josh Ball, but they could use players across the entire line.

Defensive Line

Another group I could have easily broken up, I kept as a group because, again, it is easier. Randy Gregory is a free agent, but he might carry a pice way more than the Cowboys will want to spend. Should they cut Demarcus Lawrence (post June-1) for cap relief, that leaves all of your pass rush with Dorance Armstrong also a free agent.

At defensive tackle the Cowboys could lose their best interior run defender in Brent Urban. While the Cowboys almost always go defensive line in the draft, the ability to fill all of the needs would take the draft and free agency. The team needs pass rush, depth, and run-stopping, a lot to rebuild in one offseason.


Leighton Vander Esch is a free agent, and many believe he will not be returning, as is Keanu Neal. The Cowboys will get back Jabril Cox to line up with Micah Parsons. Francis Bernard is an Exclusive Rights Free Agent and Luke Gifford is a Restricted Free Agent, but neither are really expected to be the next guy up to start.

This draft is rather deep at linebacker so the Cowboys were probably going to grab one anyway. If the Cowboys make a move in free agency it will be bringing someone back and not outside help most likely.


This position comes with a lot of hope and not a lot of known. Anthony Brown could be a salary-cap casualty and Maurice Canady is a free agent. That leaves Trevon Diggs and two guys who didn’t get a lot of playing time in Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright. Jourdan Lewis had an up and down season and could also be in consideration of salary cap decisions as well.

The hope from many is that Joseph and Wright are able to step up, but truth is we know so little at this point. You can always use corners, but it depends on if you are looking for depth or starters. If the Cowboys decide they need a starter, this is a huge need.


The Cowboys, should they let everyone walk, will have a safety chart that starts with Donovan Wilson and Israel Mukuamu, not ideal. So there are probably going to be some guys they will bring back.

The top two options, depending on cost, will probably be Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse, however, at some point, the Cowboys could surprise everyone and really try to upgrade through the draft. Kearse was an excellent get this past offseason, but may have priced himself out of returning. This position has been a need for a very long time.

Special Teams

The Cowboys have their punter in Brian Anger, but every other specialist position is up for grabs. Greg Zuerlein had a rocky 2021 and long snapper Jake McQuaide is a free agent and an easy way to save a little money is grabbing a rookie long snapper (in this case Jerry’s grandson at Arkansas is a roommate of the incoming Arkansas long snapper). In reality, the special teams could use some competition at placekicker at the very least, even with signing Naggar.

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The Cowboys seemingly have a lot of needs, but without free agency occurring yet, there are a lot of unknowns and very few ideas of where the team will go. Stephen said recently their focus will be on bringing their own guys back rather than pursuing players in free agency. They may not have an option should some guys leave for more money, but they have a plan to fill some of these before the draft comes around.