As the Dallas Cowboys begin to turn their attention towards free agency and the NFL Draft, talk of moving on from high profile players like Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence could create major roster needs this offseason. The Cowboys will also see starting LG Connor Williams hit free agency, with midseason shuffling on the offensive line derailing the high-scoring offense the Cowboys played early in the year.
The Cowboys know their best path towards taking another step up in 2022 is not only fixing this offense, but having it take another step towards being the consistent unit that can win them games. Wide receiver and offensive line are two position groups the Cowboys have drafted well recently, and both are in need of upgrades before the 2022 season.
At WR, the Cowboys have a decision to make on not only Cooper but pending free agents Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson. CeeDee Lamb didn't take the type of leap in year two to show he can be a top-end WR1, giving the Cowboys reason to not only re-sign at least one of these starters but continue adding talent around QB Dak Prescott.
The Cowboys will have a new WR coach to help make decisions at this position, bringing in a coach with ties to OC Kellen Moore in Robert Prince. A weak point in Moore's offense was scheming easy completions for his receivers, making the loss of any target that Prescott already has chemistry with that much harder to deal with.
Much of the same can be said about the Cowboys OL situation, where Joe Philbin remains in place as coach. Losing Connor Williams would leave a void at left guard, with in-house options Connor McGovern or La'el Collins to replace him. Terrence Steele is the reason the Cowboys may consider moving Collins, turning himself into an above average starter at tackle this season. Of course, Steele can't fill in at both tackle spots, giving the Cowboys more to think about with managing Tyron Smith's availability. The team also doesn't know what they have in Josh Ball, a rookie OT that took a redshirt year in 2021, or Matt Farniok as a potential replacement to Tyler Biadasz.
Prescott isn't the only quarterback that plays his best from a clean pocket, but protecting their franchise QB has to be a priority for the Cowboys entering the second year of his new deal. Not expected to be big spenders in free agency, given their cap situation and history under Stephen Jones, it may be more likely they address OL here before WR.
Holding the 24th overall pick in the first round, the Cowboys also have other needs to address before considering another receiver. Tight end is a strong position group in this class, giving the Cowboys later round options to bolster the passing game.
By doubling down so early in the offseason on Mike McCarthy and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys are on the same page for what their offense needs to look like in 2022. The front office has made it clear the season-ending loss to the 49ers should have ramifications into next year, and watching their OL get dominated should make a retool up front this team's priority. Doing so at the cost of putting more pressure on Prescott to complete passes to lesser receivers would be the wrong approach, but through free agency and the draft the Cowboys will have a chance to hit on talent at both spots.