3 Free Agent Targets for the Cowboys with Compensatory Pick Period Closing

The next important date of the offseason comes tomorrow when the window of free agency that affects compensatory picks closes. Prior to Tuesday, free agents signed — that weren’t released by a team — counted against the formula that the NFL uses to award compensatory picks in the NFL Draft. This year’s free agency additions will affect the 2020 comp picks. Starting Tuesday, however, teams can go after those free agents without hurting their compensatory pick status for next year. It would seem that the Dallas Cowboys have finished their free agent shopping as there are few holes on paper for this year’s squad.

However, there are still a few free agents that the Dallas Cowboys should take a look at signing to get their team ready for a Super Bowl run. Make no mistake, this team has the looks of a Super Bowl contender, now they just have to take what looks good on paper and translate it to the field.

It’s unlikely that the Cowboys will be aggressive in this period of the offseason as there will already be a lot of competition for roster spots. That said, here are the best available free agents that fit what the Dallas Cowboys could use in 2019.

Jamie Collins, Linebacker

Yes, the Dallas Cowboys have really good depth at linebacker with Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee, and Joe Thomas, but they don’t have a guy that can play the strong side linebacker position vacated by Damien Wilson. The guy best suited for the job is Jaylon Smith, but I’d rather not move a guy that’s shown All-Pro potential. You don’t want Sean Lee or Leighton Vander Esch to have to take on blocks as they work best in space. Joe Thomas is more of a middle linebacker or weak side linebacker.

Enter Jamie Collins formerly of the New England Patriots and the Cleveland Browns.

Collins has good size at 6-3, 250 pounds and has experience playing outside linebacker. In 2018, he had four sacks for the Cleveland Browns. The Cowboys could use him as a situational blitzer in base packages and would help them set the edge in the run game.

Collins played in seven playoff games with the New England Patriots and won a Super Bowl in 2014. In those seven career playoff games, Collins recorded 50 total tackles, three sacks, five tackles for loss, eight quarterback hits, two interceptions, and five passes defended.

The guy is a playmaker.

For a team that has Super Bowl aspirations, adding veterans with deep playoff experience at strategic positions can only help your young team get over the top.

Ndamukong Suh, Defensive Tackle

The Dallas Cowboys have gone a long way to help shore up their defensive interior with the additions of Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder through free agency and Trysten Hill in the second round of the NFL Draft. They could take another step toward that end by adding Ndamukong Suh, most recently of the Los Angeles Rams.

In the divisional round of the playoffs, we saw first hand what a game wrecker Suh can be. While the Cowboys were able to limit Aaron Donald’s splash plays, Suh was in the Cowboys backfield throughout the game, causing havoc in the run game. He came up with a crucial fourth down stop late in the game after it looked like Elliott might have a hole.

Suh is a very physical player at the point of attack and still, at 32, has the quickness to get upfield and make plays.

Playing primarily the nose tackle in the Rams 3-4 Wade Phillips defense, Suh recorded 4.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, 19 quarterback hits, four passes defended, and recovered two fumbles. During the playoffs, Suh had 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits.

Even at 32, Suh can still be a disruptive player for the Dallas Cowboys. Like Collins, he brings playoff experience. Suh would draw a lot of attention from opposing offensive lines, which would open things up for your 3-tech and the defensive end playing next to him. He brings an edge and an attitude that would fit in quite nicely with DeMarcus Lawrence.

Tre Boston, Safety

Pick 58 in the second round came with several safeties still on the board that the Cowboys showed interest in. Juan Thornhill and Taylor Rapp — Cowboys pre-draft visitors — were still available when the they opted for 3-tech Defensive Tackle Trysten Hill.

After the draft, the Cowboys alluded to the idea that they value the box safety position less than other positions on the team. They did draft Donovan Wilson in the sixth round and he sounds like a player worth watching in camp, but it’s hard to rely on sixth round safeties to be day one contributors.

Though the Cowboys look to have several players who could fill the box safety role, they shouldn’t feel completely comfortable with those players in coverage. Though we’ve said it a lot, a guy they should consider bringing in is Safety Tre Boston.

In the last two offseasons they’ve shown zero interest in Tre Boston, but I’m gonna keep trying to speak it into existence.

It surprises me how little interest the Cowboys, and the rest of the NFL, have had in the former Chargers and Cardinals safety. In 2017, Boston had five interception with the Chargers and added three more with the Cardinals in 2018.

Generally speaking he’s more of a coverage safety, but the Cowboys could add him to be a back up free safety and the second safety in passing situations. In a passing league, you can’t have enough guys who can cover. The Cowboys could use some combination of Heath, Iloka, Frazier, and Wilson in the box safety role, allowing Woods and Boston to be their cover guys when the Cowboys defense gets into obvious passing situations.

It’s very unlikely that the Dallas Cowboys are going to pursue any of these guys, but they should. Though they’ve done some work to fill holes on their roster, these three guys would give more help and  upgrade the defense tremendously.

The Dallas Cowboys are on the verge of something great in the next few years and now is the time to take advantage of this young team with some savvy veteran additions. Jamie Collins, Ndamukong Suh, and Tre Boston would bring playmaking ability to a defense that has been good, but could be great.

Winning windows come and go quickly in the NFL and while the Dallas Cowboys look to have a team built to win for a long time, nothing is guaranteed. Now’s the time to go all-in.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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