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Dallas Cowboys: 4 Positions Still in Need of Upgrades

Brian Martin



Dallas Cowboys: 4 Positions In Need Of Upgrades

The Dallas Cowboys have a little bit extra time on their hands to evaluate the roster now that the Week 4 preseason game with the Houston Texans has been canceled. That doesn’t necessarily mean they will make cuts early, it just means they have a little extra time to evaluate every single position.

It may just be me, but I still have some concerns with a few positions and believe the Cowboys could stand to find some upgrades. They can do this in one of two ways: 1) they can work out a trade with another team, or 2) put in a waiver claim for someone who was recently cut by their ball club.

Now, the Dallas Cowboys depth chart is pretty talented from top to bottom, but if you continue reading below you will see the positions I believe might still need to be upgraded. As always, feel free to agree or disagree.

Sean Lee

LB Sean Lee


The linebacker position for the Dallas Cowboys became a real concern when Anthony Hitchens went down with an injury against the Indianapolis Colts. Fortunately, it wasn’t as serious as believed and he will only be out for approximately eight weeks. But, it is a serious hit to the depth of the position.

Right now, Sean Lee might be the only sure thing. Justin Durant will likely step in at MLB for Hitchens and Damien Wilson will probably start at SAM. But, Durant has yet to get a lot of practice repetitions and Wilson still faces a possible suspension. Things are even more cloudy regarding second-year LB Jaylon Smith and his availability. Is he ready to take on a full-time workload?

The Dallas Cowboys will undoubtably keep a close eye on the waiver wires once cuts are made and possibly explore a trade for more linebacker depth. Unfortunately, there are just too many unknowns at this point to fill secure in what they currently have on the roster. The linebacker position might just be the one position on the entire team that needs an upgrade the most.

Defensive End

If you look at the depth chart at the defensive end position you will notice the Dallas Cowboys currently have enough bodies to make it through the entire season. But, like the LB position, there are concerns because of availability. We already know about the players that are suspended to start the year (Damontre Moore and David Irving), but there are concerns with some of the other DEs as well.

Two DEs have back concerns that are worrisome (Lawrence and Tapper) and there has still not been any word of when Tyrone Crawford might be able to return to the field. It’s hard to believe the Cowboys are relying on Taco Charlton to be a huge difference maker as a rookie, but at least he’s been healthy so far.

DEs are really difficult to come by, but the Dallas Cowboys have to be keeping a close watchful eye out for someone who can come in and at least help get them through the first month of the season until they can get their suspended players back on the field. If they are looking for an upgrade they will probably have to do it via trade because of how far down they are the waiver wire.

Maliek Collins, David Irving, Bucs

(Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports)

Defensive Tackle

As things stand right now, I think there are only three DTs who are guaranteed a roster spot: Maliek Collins, Cedric Thornton, and Stephen Paea. With as much as defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli likes to rotate his DL, depth is definitely a concern.

I think Lewis Neal has a chance to start the season as Collins’ backup at the 3-technique, but he might just be a fill-in until suspensions are served. Both Tyrone Crawford and David Irving can kick inside DT, but neither may be available to start the season. Depth at DT isn’t really a top priority, but finding an upgrade isn’t out of the question.

The Cowboys did draft two DTs, but neither is expected to make the final 53-man roster. They will probably try to sign them back to the practice squad, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see them put in a waiver claim or work out a trade for a player they believe may be an upgrade.

OL Chaz Green

OL Chaz Green

Left Guard

Through all of the off-season practices and four preseason games, the Dallas Cowboys still probably don’t know who will start at LG on opening day of the season. Jonathan Cooper and Chaz Green have received the most opportunities to prove themselves, but neither has really stood out.

Green simply can’t remain healthy, so there’s no way they can feel comfortable with him as a starter. Cooper probably gets the nod because of that, but even he has had a history of injuries in his NFL career. Byron Bell is a wild card here, but even he hasn’t been able to stand out.

The Dallas Cowboys will probably stick with status quo here, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be looking for an upgrade. They can’t afford to let the LG position negatively affect one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. If I’m the Cowboys, I’m exploring all possibilities and leave no stone unturned.

What positions do you think might still need an upgrade?


Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

Dallas Cowboys

Should Cowboys Pursue Veteran Backup at Quarterback?

Jess Haynie



Cowboys en Español: Cooper Rush
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys only have two quarterbacks under contract right now, starter Dak Prescott and backup Cooper Rush. With only three years of combined experience between them, one could argue that a veteran presence would be useful. Should Dallas make a veteran QB a free-agent priority in the 2018 offseason?

Of course, there’s plenty of other QB experience on the Cowboys staff. Head Coach Jason Garrett played professionally from 1989-2004, and started his coaching career with quarterbacks.

Scott Linehan has been coaching offense with an emphasis on the passing game for 30 years.

Kellen Moore, who is taking over for the departed Wade Wilson as quarterbacks coach, has played very recently and will bring a fresh perspective.

However, losing Wilson’s experience from the room, and the lack of any veteran player at QB, shouldn’t be dismissed.

Dak Prescott has said veteran Mark Sanchez — who was with Dallas in 2016 — was a major help during his whirlwind rookie season. Tony Romo enjoyed veteran advice from guys like Brad Johnson, Jon Kitna, and Kyle Orton throughout his playing career.

This isn’t to say Dallas would want to bring in a veteran to knock Cooper Rush down the depth chart. After a surprising preseason, Rush took the backup job from Kellen Moore and certainly has intriguing upside.

If the Cowboys were to add a veteran, that player would have to come in with the understanding he’s competing with Cooper and may not be guaranteed a job.

The good news is that it’ll be a buyer’s market for veteran quarterbacks this offseason.

Guys like Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, and Matt Moore could all be available. Even a player with more pedigree, such as Sam Bradford, may have trouble finding starting work with many jobs taken among the NFL’s 32 teams.

Dallas could even consider bringing back Mark Sanchez, given his previous relationship with Dak Prescott. He only had a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

Given Prescott’s seeming durability, Dallas will likely only keep two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster in 2018 and for years to come. Because of that, they may be content to focus on Dak and Cooper Rush, and just get through the offseason with training camp bodies.

However, the case can certainly be made for adding another veteran player with the desire to teach to help these young quarterbacks develop. Prescott was not the same guy in 2017 that we saw as a rookie, and perhaps the absence of guys like Sanchez and Tony on the sideline had something to do with that.


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Dallas Cowboys

Why WR Coach Sanjay Lal is a Good Hire for Cowboys

Kevin Brady



Why WR Coach Sanjay Lal Is A Good Hire For Cowboys

Yesterday, it was announced that the Dallas Cowboys will hire Sanjay Lal to be their new wide receivers coach. Lal spent 2017 with the Indianapolis Colts in the same position, but has made multiple stops around the NFL prior to joining the Cowboys staff.

Most recently and arguably most notably, Sanjay Lal was the receivers coach for both the New York Jets (2012-2014) and the Buffalo Bills (2015-2016). This means he coached on Rex Ryan’s staff for two different teams, with two very similar offensive philosophies.

Run the football.

As seen in the video below, Sanjay Lal has experience working as the wide outs coach for an offense with a run-first philosophy. He even says himself that their offense in New York was “ground and pound,” but notes that “without a pass game there’s no pound.”

Cowboys fans became all too familiar with the truth behind that statement during the 2017 season, as even solid efforts in the run game were rendered meaningless by their lack of explosion through the air.

Jets Nation Inside Camp: Sanjay Lal Mic’d Up

Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal is mic’d up during training camp, and also discusses trying to play pro football before becoming a coach in the NFL.

A lot has been made of Sanjay Lal’s lack of 1,000-yard receivers during his time as a coach. The offensive philosophies of the teams which he coached for, however, show why this criticism is flimsy.

It’s quite possible the Cowboys will once again be without a 1,000 yard pass catcher this season, but if Ezekiel Elliott and the run game are clicking, and Dak Prescott is spreading the ball to different targets, this stat won’t mean a thing.

Lal was also the coach in Buffalo when Sammy Watkins had the best years of his career, including a 1,000-yard season.

During that stint he coached Robert Woods to productive seasons as well. Now Woods is a dangerous target for the Los Angeles Rams after being coached by Lal for multiple seasons.

These were also the same years that quarterback Tyrod Taylor was at his best.

While in New York, with the Jets, Lal’s most productive receiver was Jeremy Kerley, who finished with 827 yards in 2012 and 523 in 2013. What’s important to note here is that Kerley played as a slot receiver for much of his time as a Jet.

The Cowboys lacked any type of production from the slot in 2017, but maybe Lal can change that by getting the best out of Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer, as he did with Kerley.

Bryan Broaddus on Twitter

Know that some believe he had a real shot to be an OC in this league one day.

All indications from those “in the know” suggest Sanjay Lal is on his way to becoming an offensive coordinator soon. Many believe he has the smarts and the football IQ to command an offense himself, as soon as he gets the right opportunity.

Maybe that opportunity will come down the line in Dallas, where he can continue to coach within that “ground and pound” style, which he has done for many years while also implementing elements of his own passing game expertise.

Everyone has been critical of the Cowboys’ inability to bring in external hires, and to spark up new/creative offensive ideas. Lal has spent time among some of the smartest offensive minds in football.

Maybe he’s the man to bring in that outside creativity this offense seems to lack.


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Dallas Cowboys

Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

Sean Martin



Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach

After hiring Paul Alexander to fill their vacant OL coaching position, the Dallas Cowboys are continuing to retool their offensive staff below Scott Linehan. Sanjay Lal has been hired to coach the Cowboys’ wide receivers, replacing Derek Dooley.

Lal has experience as a WR coach with four different teams, dating back to 2009 with the Oakland Raiders. He was promoted up to this position after serving as the Raiders’ quality control coach from 2007-08.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys have reached an agreement with Sanjay Lal to become the team’s WR coach. Lal was with Indianapolis last season and replaces Derek Dooley on the staff.

Most recently, Sanjay Lal coached the receivers for the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. He has also been with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets.

In this interview with the Colts, Lal mentions being very detail-oriented with a focus on the technical aspects of playing receiver.

Lal beats out former Cowboys WR Miles Austin for this position, earning the right to lead a room of receivers in desperate need of fresh talent. In an offseason that’s been about finding fresh ideas with the coaching staff so far though, the Cowboys have a new voice on offense.

Tell us what you think about “Sanjay Lal Hired As Cowboys WR Coach” in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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