2009 free agency and the draft are two places that could change the mental state of the Cowboys greatly. How? well I have said several times that some of the players on this team need to be pushed. Certain areas can solely be addressed in the draft. Others however need quality veteran players to accomplish this. The problem with free agency is as badly as Jerry likes to make the “big splash” the Cowboys can do more harm than good here. However there are going to be players available this year that can compete for starting positions and come at a reduced price. The problem with the draft is you really don’t know what you are getting until you get it.
The Quarterback position is #1 on the wish list. There is no way we can enter next season without a quality backup.Preferably the Cowboys spend a late round pick on a work in progress, and go out and get a veteran guy to come in and compete with Tony, this is what’s best for the team and for Tony. I would love it if it were even a possibility for us to some how land Kurt Warner, but he is only going to sign somewhere to be the starter, and he will command too much cash! Here are my top two picks on who should be looked at to replace Brad Johnson.
- Byron Leftwich – Big and strong can move around enough, has a strong arm, and is a competitor
- Chris Simms – Fantastic arm, can move around well, and is a former longhorn.
Position of need #1A is the Offensive line! I am hung on whether this unit is just not being coached well or if they simply feel no pressure from behind and are lazy. This unit MUST get better that is just simply the way it has to be. Our QB can not continue to take shots like he did this year, and this team has too many good backs to not be able to run the ball. Here is the short list I put together.
- Mark Tauscher – Can play Tackle or Guard, is big, and is a fighter.
- Jordan Gross – Former first round draft pick of Carolina, probably out of price range but worth looking into. A little smaller Guard than what the Cowboys are used to at 6’4″ 300
- Jason Brown – Big center (6’3″ 313lbs.) started all 16 games last year for the Ravens.
- Khalif Barnes – Big (6’6″ 305), young tackle 2nd round Jacksonville draft pick in 2005
- Jordan Black – Big (6’5″ 314) was Khalif Barnes’ back up in Jacksonville, started for 3 years in Kansas City after being drafted by them in the 5th rd in 2003.
The safety position is priority #2 this year. Do not even say that Roy Willy is healthy! He makes things worse! I would be for a position change for Anthony Henry but the Cowboys seem hesitant to do it. This position upgrade will probably come via the draft but here is a name that may become available once their season is over.
- Dawan Landry – A 5th rd. draft choice by the Ravens in 2006, Neck injury has had him on IR for most of this year, but the guy can tackle and showed signs of being a ball hawk his rookie year with 5 picks.
Last but certainly not least is the Defensive line this position will probably not change much as the quality guys available are VERY EXPENSIVE (Haynesworth) and the rest in the free agent pool are not anymore quality than what we already have, look for this area to be addressed in the draft.
- Bertrand Berry – at 33 years old could add that veteran leadership roll, but is not better than what we currently have.
I have one last bonus player I would not mind seeing in a Cowboy uniform, Chris Gamble! I like this guy he is hard nosed plays the run very well, led the panthers this year with 18 pass deflections. He would be a great fit for this team.