Dallas Cowboys: Offseason needs

NFL Draft Team Needs

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DRAFT PICKS:

1st rd: 9th
2nd rd: 40th
3rd rd: 71st
4th rd: 110th
5th rd: 143rd
6th rd: 176th
7th rd: Used own pick in supplemental draft,
7th rd: 220 (F/SD)
7th rd: 252 (compensatory selection)

NEEDS:

1. Cornerback: The Cowboys secondary was 26th in the league last year and needs a big time upgrade. Terrence Newman really fell off last season and is starting to show signs of age. Dallas needs to add a corner early in this draft and could find one with either of their first two picks.

2. Right Tackle: A big reason why the Cowboys failed last year was the early struggles of their offensive line. While Doug Free solidified the LT spot, the RT spot remained in flux. Marc Colombo had his worst year as a pro and he might be a backup tackle from here on out. Dallas should look to make this either a first or 2nd day draft priority or hope they can find someone via free agency.

3. Left Guard: The Cowboys have starter Kyle Kosier heading to free agency, and while he has been pretty good for them, he’s starting to get up there in age and has dealt with injuries two of the last three seasons. If the Cowboys let him walk this is a pretty high need, but if he returns than it isn’t near the priority (unfortunately they won’t know until after the draft so look for the position to be addressed by the 4th round).

4. Free Safety: Cornerback wasn’t the only reason the Cowboys secondary was so poor last season, as the Cowboys free safety play didn’t do them any favors. Alan Ball looked over-matched last season and needs to be upgraded.

5. Defensive end: The exact importance of this need is TBD as Marcus Spears, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher are all free agents. While Spears is likely to walk, the other two look to be Dallas priorities this offseason. Dallas could still use some depth as the only other semi-decent DE is Igor Olshansky and he is marginal at best.

6. Wide Receiver: The Cowboys like having a wide open passing attack, but their their receiving corps will likely take a hit this offseason as Roy Williams will probably be cut and Sam Hurd is a free agent. Although their starters are set, Dallas could look to bring in a good 3rd option to help keep the offense potent.

7. Outside Linebacker: Anthony Spencer had a good 2009 campaign and it looked like he was going to breakout last season. Unfortunately he took a step back in 2010, and looks to be more like an average rush linebacker. While there is still time for him to improve Dallas might look to add a mid-round depth player who could come in as a pass rushing specialist.

SUMMARY:

Dallas has a good core group of players to build around, but they need to fix their offensive line and secondary for them to really contend. In addition adding depth at a number of thin positions will be extremely important. If Dallas can come away with a strong draft, and they don’t have many surprises in free agency (i.e. losing Doug Free), they should be able to jump back to the top of the NFC East.


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