The Dallas Cowboys executives were movers and shakers this off-season. Jerry and Co. acquired Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks via trades. They have unanimously received excellent grades for those moves.
It was not always a clean sweep for Dallas.
Last off-season, the team parted ways with their number one receiver, Amari Cooper, and their right tackle, La'el Collins.
While the offensive line went thru its ups and downs, Joe Philbin put together a formidable group.
However, the initial plan for the wide receivers, led by two-time Pro Bowler CeeDee Lamb, backfired on Head Coach Mike McCarthy.
The collection of Lamb, Noah Brown, Dennis Houston, Jalen Tolbert, Simi Fehoko, and KaVontae Turpin was insufficient to hold the fort down until Michael Gallup and James Washington returned from injuries.
Minus CeeDee, the wide-receiver group hauled in 51 total receptions for 604 yards and three touchdowns.
Brown accounted for 84% of those receptions.
Reliance on those younger, lesser-proven players amounted to almost nothing.
Despite their return to action, relying on Gallup and Washington to solidify the wide-receiver room magnified the more significant issue across the Dallas Cowboys organization.
Poor planning at critical positions in the offense quickly became apparent.
This offseason, the Cowboys released their third leading career rusher, Ezekiel Elliott, because his production and effectiveness didn't align with his salary.
Dallas has Super Bowl aspirations, but underestimating personnel needs isn't an error this front office will be able to overcome.
Is Dallas OK With Travelling this road once again?
The answer to that question will likely come at some point this season.
It does feel like deja vu to a certain degree. The roster breakdown between the receiver position last season and the running backs this season is eerily similar.
As with Gallup last season, Dallas is waiting for an injured player to return, Tony Pollard, who will be heavily relied upon.
Now that Zeke has left the building, Pollard projects to be the lead running back.
A broken ankle is simpler to return from than a torn ACL, but there is still some uncertainty when determining if a player will regain their pre-injury form.
The acquisition of Ronald Jones shouldn't calm any concerns.
This acquisition is comparable to the James Washington signing last season. Both were previous 2nd round picks in their respective draft classes.
By default, the Dallas Cowboys have positioned Jones as the second or third fiddle in that running back position group. Prayerfully, the injury bug bypasses this team in OTAs and training camps, but there is no guarantee.
Admittedly, the mindset is pessimistic at best, but it is a thought that should be on the minds of the Cowboys' executives.
The depth behind both Pollard and Jones could stand to be improved.
Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, and Hunter Luepke will compete for roles on the team and may be more effective than any free agent on the market.
If Pollard has any setbacks (no indication that he has) or Jones reverts to the player two previous teams walked away from, one of those above-mentioned players will have to step in.
That is a lot to ask for any 2nd-year player, much less an undrafted prospect.
However, it was the same approach for Tolbert, Houston, and Fehoko. The late addition of T.Y. Hilton last season was too little too late.
At this juncture, Dallas may have few options to maneuver through.
Revisiting a Dallas-Elliott reunion could be in the cards. If not, America's team will have to bank on less secure options at the running back position.
It's a long road if they choose to travel, but they have been there before.