This has not been a successful offseason for the Dallas Cowboys so far and chances are that’s not going to change. With the bulk of free agency over, only the draft remains as a viable way to improve one’s roster.
After subtracting WR1 Amari Cooper, RT1 La’el Collins, LG1 Connor Williams, and RDE1 Randy Gregory and replacing them with nothing more than a ragtag team of space holders, the Dallas Cowboys clearly have their work cut out for them this draft cycle.
With more needs than premium picks, something’s gotta give. And since rookies rarely preform up the levels of veteran stars, temporary downgrades can be expected across all the previously mentioned spots (for 2022, at least).
The Dallas Cowboys have been clearing the deck this offseason to lay the groundwork for a more nimble tomorrow
While the world deals with the pandemic, the Dallas Cowboys are suffering from a severe case of Austerity-itis. Likely picked up at truckstop somewhere between Frisco and El Paso, Stephen Jones has been obsessed with cutting costs and creating space (both on the roster and in the books).
At a time when the NFC is wide open and competition at the top has never been thinner, the Cowboys have opted to downgrade and tighten belts rather than make a real attempt at a postseason run. Live to fight another day has always been the mantra in Dallas but this year it’s never been truer.
Addition by subtraction this is not. The 2022 Dallas Cowboys are worse in 2022 than they were in 2021.
The Dallas Cowboys have been focused on the future even if it comes at the cost of the present. While most teams try to achieve balance between the two, the Cowboys are unabashedly focused on tomorrow. Addition by subtraction this is not. The 2022 Dallas Cowboys are worse in 2022 than they were in 2021.
Pointing to salary cap space Stephen Jones tried to convince fans his cuts were fiscally responsible. And some fans even believed him. Half-a-dozen downgrades later and the Dallas Cowboys stand flush with cash. Sadly there’s no one to spend it on.
But spending isn’t the goal. It’s saving. This is especially concerning when the man holding the purse strings (Stephen is the day-to-day GM and contract negotiator) stands to inherit the unspent cash. To put it bluntly, we’re not sure the Cowboys will ever maximize their spending power.
Moving on from four high priced starters this season will create financial room next season. Combined with another Dak Prescott restructure and the expected dispatch of Ezekiel Elliott next season, the Dallas Cowboys will be well situated financially and ready to make a run on the market.
Whether it’s Dan Quinn or Sean Payton in 2023, we don’t know exactly, but we’re pretty darn sure Mike McCarthy has passed his expiration date in Dallas
It’s no coincidence that Dallas is expected to bring in a new head coach next year as well. Whether that’s Dan Quinn or Sean Payton, we don’t know exactly, but we’re pretty darn sure Mike McCarthy has passed his expiration date in Dallas and is solely tasked with keeping the seat warm this season.
So it makes sense that the Cowboys are hesitant to invest much this year and therefore eagerly swallowing dead money. They’re clearing the deck.
This obviously isn’t a complete rebuild because the Dallas Cowboys still have their top talent and nucleus in place. It’s about shedding salaries and commitments for players who may not figure into their long-term plans. It’s about creating flexibility for 2023 so they can (hopefully) make an honest attempt at building a contender with their next head coach.
Just don’t say this is addition by subtraction because in no way has this been a logical attempt at getting better this season and the 2022 NFL Draft isn’t going to change it either. They aren’t giving up on this season but they aren’t focused on improving this season either.
For better or for worse, this is about the future.