Now that the NFL season is in the books for the Dallas Cowboys the offseason process begins. As we saw all season long there were issues all over this team. This team has issues on both sides of the ball. A large majority of the issues belong to the defensive side of the ball. Where do the Cowboys turn? Well here is a list of 50 guys that I think Dallas should be looking at.
Free Safety (Current roster Jeff Heath, J.J. Wilcox, Matt Johnson)
• Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, Alabama (First Round) – Clinton-Dix is a great cover safety that could help in coverage. This season using both Jeff Heath and J.J. Wilcox didn’t prove to be very effective. While the pass rush didn’t provide much help in that regard you still need a playmakers in the secondary.
• Dion Bailey, Southern California (Second Round)
• Calvin Prior, Louisville (Fourth Round)
• Marqueston Huff, Wyoming (Fourth Round)
• Dontae Johnson, North Carolina State (Sixth Round)
Strong Safety (Current Roster Barry Church, Danny McCray, Jakar Hamilton)
• Ahmad Dixon, Baylor (Second Round) – Dixon is power hitting safety who can also provide some coverage. Barry Church had a good season in terms of tackling. However, Church isn’t someone that can make plays in the passing. Beyond Church there isn’t any depth either. Dixon provides a presence in the secondary this team hasn’t had since Darren Woodson.
• Deone Bucannon, Washington State (Second Round)
• Craig Loston, Louisiana State (Third Round)
• Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois (Fourth Round)
• Hakeem Smith, Louisville (Sixth Round)
Defensive End (Current Roster DeMarcus Ware, George Selvie, Everett Brown, Edgar Jones, Kyle Wilber)
• Kony Ealy, Missouri (First Round) – Ealy is easily the most talented end that is available for the Cowboys in the first round outside of Jadeveon Clowney but that pick isn’t attainable. Ealy is a big bodied end who reminds me of DeMarcus Ware. He still has plenty room to grow. Anthony Spencer likely gone, the Cowboys need to go defensive line early and often.
• Scott Crichton, Oregon State (Second Round)
• Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas (Second Round)
• Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State (Second Round)
• Kareem Martin, North Carolina (Third Round)
• George Uko, Southern California (Fourth Round)
• Aaron Lynch, South Florida (Fourth Round)
• Ed Stinson, Alabama (Fifth Round)
• Ben Gardner, Stanford (Sixth Round
• Lynden Trail, Norfolk State (Seventh Round)
Defensive Tackle (Current Roster Nick Hayden, Ben Bass, Jarius Wynn, Corvey Irvin, Frank Kearse)
• Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota (First Round) – Hageman is a physical freak who dominates interior linemen. One of the staples of the Tampa 2 defense is a very active defensive tackle. Jason Hatcher should be gone once free agency starts. They will need someone like Hageman to step in and contribute from day one.
• Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh (Second Round)
• Ego Ferguson, Louisiana State (Second Round)
• Will Sutton, Arizona State (Second Round)
• Timmy Jernigan, Florida State (Second Round)
• DaQuan Jones, Penn State (Second Round)
• Kelcy Quarles, South Carolina (Third Round)
• Dominique Easley, Florida (Third Round)
• Anthony Johnson, Louisiana State (Third Round)
• Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State (Fourth Round)
Outside Linebacker (Current Roster Bruce Carter, Devonte Holloman, Ernie Sims, Orie Lemon, Cameron Lawrence, Justin Durant)
• Khalil Mack, Buffalo (First Round) – Mack is a guy that is very versatile. He plays the run well and is a very good pass rusher. The Cowboys could use Mack as their outside linebacker then move him to pass rush on nickel situations. The linebacker position that was once a strength of this team seems to be the weakness. Need sure tacklers who aren’t going to be a liability in pass coverage.
• Ryan Shazier, Ohio State (First Round)
• CJ Mosely, Alabama (First Round) A middle linebacker who can make switch
• Kyle Van Noy, Brigham Young (First Round)
• Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech (Second Round)
• Christian Kirksey, Iowa (Fouth Round)
• Kevin Pierre-Louis, Boston College (Fifth Round)
• Boseko Lokombo, Oregon (Fifth Round)
• Jonathan Brown, Illinois (Sixth Round)
• Derrell Johnson, East Carolina (Sixth Round)
Quarterback (Current Roster Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Jon Kitna)
• Derek Carr, Fresno State (First Round) – This one may be a little farfetched but Carr is my number one rated senior quarterback. His arm strength is his best quality and it would be good for him to sit and learn behind Tony. I have concerns about Romo’s back having had two surgeries in nine months. If Carr slips in this draft I could see Dallas making the call despite their needs on defense.
• AJ McCarron, Alabama (Second Round)
• David Fales, San Jose State (Third Round)
• Aaron Murray, Georgia (Third Round)
• Jimmy Garappolo, Eastern Illinois (Fourth Round)
Offensive Guard (Current Roster Ronald Leary, Mackenzy Bernadeau)
• David Yankey, Stanford (First Round) – Yankey is just like Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick as a plug and play guy. This offensive line became the strongest unit after having the biggest question mark to start the year. Brian Waters was huge for this team and Bernadeau played very well down the stretch. Even though guard isn’t a top priority they need depth.
• Cyril Richardson, Baylor (Second Round)
• Zack Martin, Notre Dame (Second Round)
• Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State (Third Round)
• Brandon Linder, Miami, Fla (Fifth Round)
These are just my initial prospects to keep an eye on. We will be adding more to the list as the offseason moves on.