When it comes to specific positions the Dallas Cowboys should consider upgrading this offseason, defensive tackle should be at the top of their list. They have ignored investing much in the way of draft picks or money on the interior of their defensive line for years now, but it’s time for that to change. Luckily, 2019 might just be the year they do that.
As far as team “needs” are concerned, the Dallas Cowboys don’t really have any. With the exception of Linebacker Damien Wilson, the entire starting defensive unit will return next season. And yes, I’m including DeMarcus Lawrence because he will get paid at some point this offseason.
Offensively for the Cowboys, things will look just about the same as they did in 2018. The only real differences I see is the return of Center Travis Frederick and probably the departure of Wide Receiver Cole Beasley via free agency. With just about all of the starting positions locked down on both sides of the ball, Dallas can approach the draft and free agency with no glaring needs.
As far as free agency is concerned, I don’t expect the Dallas Cowboys to spend much money on the defensive tackle position. So if you are hoping they somehow land Grady Jarrett or Ndamukong Suh, prepare to be disappointed. If they do add a veteran DT, it will likely be a low-cost player the majority of us have never even heard of.
I hope I’m not alone here, but I think it’s way past time for the Cowboys to invest some real equity into the DT position. Maliek Collins, Dallas’ former third-round draft pick, is the only interior defensive tackle to be drafted by any team on the Cowboys roster. It may surprise you to learn that the rest of their DTs are all undrafted players.
The Cowboys have gotten by for several years now by signing DTs off the street or castoffs from other teams. That’s exactly what they did with Antwaun Woods last year, and he just so happened to work out. But he was more of an exception to the rule, not the norm. Dallas can’t expect that to happen with any kind of regularity.
That is why I believe it’s time they draft some talented interior help for their defensive line. It’s not the sexy thing to do and it won’t sell a lot of jerseys, but I believe it’s the right thing to do in order to make an already talented defense even better.
If the Dallas Cowboys want to protect their talented young linebackers, Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, improving the defensive line in front of them will go a long ways in doing just that. The same thing can be said about DeMarcus Lawrence, who they are about to pay an absurd amount of money to. If they want to make him even better, upgrade the DT talent around him.
Now, the Cowboys past history would suggest this isn’t going to happen. They will once again probably try to patch their defensive line with cost-effective players and maybe a mid-round draft pick. But, if they were to change their philosophy, this would be the year to do it.