It’s time to look ahead to 2016 for the Dallas Cowboys. Unless Matt Cassel NOW decides to start winning football games, this team with an already very talented roster will own a very high draft pick.
Before we can get into the draft, let’s take a look at five upcoming free agents from the Cowboys that really need to prove their worth in the remaining five games.
1. Greg Hardy
For the sake of this exercise, let’s forget about all that has happened off the field this season with Greg Hardy. I say this because, if he has any chance to be extended, these things cannot be a factor as he must stay completely clean the rest of the way out.
Other than that, he will need to find some consistency on the field. On two occasions, Hardy has followed up a game in which he recorded a sack with a whopping zero the next week. He also has only half a sack in his last three games.
Greg Hardy has a lot to do if he expects to be a Dallas Cowboy next season.
2. Rolando McClain
Sticking with the defense, Rolando McClain will be another guy to keep an eye on these next five weeks. McClain has been making plays all over the field the last three weeks, including his pick six against Miami.
However, his issue since coming to Dallas has been keeping up mentally – as he has a habit of completely checking out of games at will.
Playing for a 3-8 team, it would be so easy for McClain to pack it in to close the season. If this is the case, he will also be packing his bags come free agency.
3. Jeremy Mincey
This training camp, we were all buzzing with excitement at the overwhelming depth Rod Marinelli had to work with along the defensive line. For the most part, the unit has been a disappointment, especially when it comes to pressure from around the edge.
Demarcus Lawrence’s struggles have been well documented, but Jeremy Mincey has quietly failed to record a single sack. This will need to change in a hurry, or the Cowboys will likely look elsewhere for pass rushers while expecting a fully healthy Randy Gregory next season.
Mincey has played 288 snaps along the line this season, which is the least among significant contributors.
4. David Irving
Irving was signed midseason from the Chiefs practice squad, and nobody knew much about him. Now, every Cowboys fan should know his name as the athletic defensive tackle has found his way into the backfield on a consistent basis.
With Tyrone Crawford locked up on a long-term deal, the Cowboys may have found an inexpensive and skilled linemen to play alongside him in the heart of this defense.
Irving has a blocked field goal on the season, proving his worth in multiple ways. He will need to continue to stand out to return to the Cowboys.
5. Robert Turbin
The only offensive player on this list is a running back who has gotten nine carries. The Cowboys backfield has been nothing short of a revolving door this season, and while Darren McFadden has looked good in bursts – he is not the long-term answer for this team.
While no one on the roster currently is, Turbin has shown a lot of potential with a physical running style. If Turbin continues to run well and does not make any critical mistakes, he will find a spot in this backfield next season.
Other Cowboys Free Agents: