The Dallas Cowboys may have answered one of the big offseason questions with the hiring of new Head Coach Mike McCarthy, but their work is far from finished. There is still a ton of unknown surrounding this team, especially in regards to their current roster. That’s what I want to take a look at today.
Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys core roster remains intact. It’s probably one of the reasons Mike McCarthy was so interested in the job in the first place. However, the Cowboys still have a lot of players hitting free agency this offseason. Determining who to keep and who to let go will be just one of many things McCarthy will have to check off his to do list.
Mike McCarthy has only been the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for a few days now, but don’t think for a second he hasn’t already started the evaluation process. I don’t envy him in the least, because the current depth chart isn’t very inspiring to say the least. But this is his job to do and he knew what he was getting into.
Let’s take a look…
Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush
If the season were to start today, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have a QB under contract who played for them in 2019. That of course will change once they shell out big bucks to Dak Prescott, but as far as Cooper Rush is concerned he’s probably looking for work elsewhere in 2020. I think they can find a better QB2 to back up Prescott.
Running Back (3)
Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Jamize Olawale
I don’t foresee any changes to the running back position this offseason unless Mike McCarthy chooses not to carry a fullback on the roster. Jamize Olawale technically still has two years remaining on his contract, but releasing him won’t cost that much against the salary cap.
Wide Receiver (3)
Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, Tavon Austin, Ventell Bryant, Devin Smith
Michael Gallup is the only proven WR currently under contract with the Dallas Cowboys right now. Amari Cooper will likely be retained for at least a 2020 season, whether it’s via a long-term extension or franchise/transition tag remains to be seen though. Adding depth at WR is an under the radar “need”.
Tight End (2)
Jason Witten, Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz
The Jason Witten/Blake Jarwin duo performed admirably in 2019, but I think upgrading the TE position should be a priority this offseason. Jarwin has proven he can be a threat in the passing game, but is still a liability as a blocker. Schultz could have a hard time making the roster next year and it’s probably time for Witten to hang up his cleats for good.
Offensive Tackle (5)
Tyron Smith, La’el Collins, Cameron Fleming, Brandon Knight, Mitch Hyatt
The Dallas Cowboys actually have some pretty solid depth at OT right now. Smith and Collins should once again bookend the Cowboys OL next year and Fleming should remain as the swing tackle. Brandon Knight’s versatility came in handy last year, so he should stick around. As for Hyatt, he should still be considered nothing more than a developmental player.
Offensive Guard (3)
Zack Martin, Connor Williams,
Xavier Su’a-Filo, Connor McGovern (IR)
Zack Martin isn’t going anywhere. He will once again lockdown the RG position next year, but LG might be up for grabs. Connor Williams and Connor McGovern could duke it out in the offseason, although we don’t really know what to expect from McGovern since he spent all of his rookie season on injured reserve.
Travis Frederick had a fantastic bounce back season after overcoming a serious autoimmune disease. He will once again anchor the Cowboys OL next year, but they could use another backup with Joe Looney likely departing in free agency. Connor McGovern could be the guy, but that’s unknown as of now.
Defensive End (4)
Robert Quinn, Michael Bennett, Tyrone Crawford (IR), Kerry Hyder, Dorrance Armstrong, Joe Jackson
The Dallas Cowboys are likely losing half of their DE depth from 2019 and could quite possibly cut ties with Tyrone Crawford as well to save some money. With only DeMarcus Lawrence as the only proven commodity, adding depth at DE should without a doubt be a top priority. A change in defensive scheme however could change this position more than any other for the Cowboys.
Defensive Tackle (1)
Antwaun Woods, Maliek Collins, Trysten Hill, Christian Covington
Trysten Hill is the lone remaining DT currently under contract with the Dallas Cowboys. They do have Daniel Wise on the practice squad, but projecting him as a starter/contributor next season would be unwise. Upgrading and adding depth here should be the Cowboys #1 priority. They’ve ignored the position for too long.
Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch,
Sean Lee, Joe Thomas, Luke Gifford, Chris Covington
Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are the unquestioned starters heading into the 2020 season for the Dallas Cowboys, but the depth behind them is unproven. Upgrading the LB position could be towards the top of the offseason to do list, especially considering LVE’s neck/back issues continue to be a problem.
Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, Jourdan Lewis, Donovan Olumba
If Byron Jones leaves via free agency the Dallas Cowboys CB position could see close to a complete overhaul. Chidobe Awuzie took a huge step back in 2019 and shouldn’t be guaranteed a job in 2020 with a new coaching staff. Likewise, Jourdan Lewis will have to prove himself as well. Don’t be surprised if the Cowboys go CB early in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jeff Heath, Xavier Woods, Darian Thompson, Donovan Wilson
The Dallas Cowboys safety position continues to be overlooked, but it’s probably not any worse off with Jeff Heath potentially leaving in free agency. Xavier Woods played well in 2019 and should retain his starting job, but who plays opposite him in 2020 is up in the air. Maybe it’s Donovan Wilson or some other safety they acquire via trade, free agency, or through the draft.