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What’s Next for the Dallas Cowboys in Free Agency?

The Dallas have remained true to themselves when it comes to their approach. They’ve been patient, with a reluctance to venture into an inflated early part of the free agency period. It remains to be seen if that patience will pay off. Though there was some optimism after their signings the last offseason, arguably only was able to impact the game in a positive way for the Cowboys.

The Cowboys have addressed a couple of the areas that were perceived as weaknesses. They signed to serve as the team’s swing . They re-signed to be their ace. And last night, they announced a deal with to bring him back for potentially the next three seasons.

Though there is some speculation as to where Lewis could play, the reality is they needed to bring back one of their three departing to lessen the blow of their departure.

So what’s next?

Well, the Dallas Cowboys still have plenty to do this offseason to retool and upgrade a that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2020. After missing out on Dalvin Tomlinson and Malcom Brown was traded to the , the Cowboys should continue to look at adding a 1-technique to solidify their interior.

While one of the areas of weakness on this team has been the play of Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, adding a run-stuffing defensive tackle would certainly help get them trending in the right direction. One player that comes to mind is former and Defensive Tackle Danny Shelton. Another name that could make sense along the interior is former Defensive Tackle Mike Pennell. Or they could go with Sheldon Rankins, most recently from the .

Along with defensive tackle, the Cowboys need to continue to address their secondary.

Is Jourdan Lewis a ? If so, they probably still need to look into a veteran that can compete with Reggie Robinson for the starting role in 2021. has it that the Cowboys have been in contact with Damontae Kazee, recovering from an achilles suffered in October of 2020. A guy, much would depend on Kazee’s recovery.

But what if they are thinking of trying Jourdan Lewis at ? Well, then they probably need to add another cornerback if they want to be able to draft freely when they go on the clock at the end of April. The Cowboys have been connected with Richard Sherman in the early stages of free agency.

Though they haven’t done much, it’s already been a productive offseason adding in the . Per OverTheCap.com, the Cowboys are projected to receive four compensatory picks next April. That is subject to change as the Cowboys wade into free agency after the initial NFL spending spree. However, there’s a good chance the Cowboys could continue to wait until after the deadline for to count against you in the compensatory pick formula. Adding a guy like Shelton wouldn’t count against your formula since his previous team released him.

The Dallas Cowboys’ still has a lot of work to do to solidify their heading into the final stretch before the . There are still opportunities out there to add talented players to upgrade their starting lineup or provide depth to a decimated by injury in 2020.

What do you think?

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Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.

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14 Comments

  1. Jaylon smith is not our problem you dont have 160 tackles in a season and be the problem. As good as cowboy nation want 55 to be he is trash. I saw him get run over last year in the hole he is a outside linebacker not a middle.the cowboys must address the middle of their defense a strong nose tackle jaylon back at middle and a ball hawk free safety at their problems on d are fixed

  2. Wow!
    Cowboys really made some daring moves so far in free agency!
    Not!
    Where’s Jimmy Johnson when you need him!
    They should have offered him 160 million for 4 years to come out of retirement!
    2 SB in 5 years!

  3. Cowboy Fan Ed, I think Dan Quinn is an upgrade from Mike Nolan. However, the fact of the matter is that there’s no Jimmy Johnson in the Cowboys Organization! The team hasn’t been the same since he left town. Our second team guys could’ve started on some other teams. That’s how deep we were back then. Jaylon Smith, Xavier Woods, Chidobe Awuzie, and Connor Williams wouldn’t start on a Jimmy Johnson coached team!!!

  4. Jimmy Johnson built his teams from the middle out. Meaning he focused on center, DTs, guards, tackle, defensive ends every year. He drafted them in the top 5 rounds. He didn’t draft to replace free-agents. He drafted to upgrade the talent. He didn’t draft out of need or because someone was exceptional talent. In fact, he would draft the player and trade the player to who really wanted the player. Jerry Jones talks a good game, but he hasn’t done anything since Jimmy left. When Bill Parcells started turning this around, he ran Bill out of the building. Luck and Ego can only take you so far. As long as Jerry is pulling the strings, Dallas will keep making calculated mistakes like the Dak signing. Dallas could’ve locked him up at 20 per season 3 years ago, but he waited. Well now Dallas gets to pay a player $40M a year who has never won a playoff game. The 2nd highest paid player hasn’t won any significant games in his career. Jerry Jones talks aggressive but he hasn’t done anything aggressive since firing two Hall of Fame coaches for no cause. Signing Tom Brady as a free-agent and trading Dak that would have been aggressive. Not Jerry he is all talk. Don’t getbyour hopes too high guys.

  5. Like the potential of Basham, Urban, and Watkins. Defense got better the minute Chidobe Awuzie left town for Cincinnati. Surprised he was signed for so much money. A true stinker, right up there with Jaylon Smith. The Bengals will experience buyer’s remorse very soon!

  6. Let me be honest at this point Jerry Jones and his Son and Family should just take a thousand steps back and let a real GM and VP of operations take over… year after year same story… with all the Money JJ has in the bank!!! America’s team at this point is so Boring!!! Just tired of the Cowboys at this point…

  7. I would hope that our coaching staff has input to which players we sign because at the end of the day how they perform will be a reflection on them ! Hopefully our new DC can take these players and put them in a scheme that will be successful! One thing about Jimmy Johnson was he could recognize talent and put that talent in the position to help the team win ballgames!! Sure hope our coaches are doing the same thing! But only time will tell!

  8. Yeah. I couldn’t believe the signing of the 2 Panther DTs last year as bad as they were against the run. And both well past their prime. And if pro bowl rules were without fan vote I doubt J. Smith ever made the one. Bad instincts and bad angles. Vastly overpaid. If Jerry sees a little something in someone he overpays. Of course,, Jerry is trying to validate spending that 2nd round pick on him, (Prescott was the QB i wanted and was hoping they’d go 2nd round or 3rd on him).At least we got him. I could have seen a fifth round being gambled on Smith even as many thought he’d not be drafted due to the injury. As for overpaying,, Crawford was a true professional and a solid player but Jerry went out and made him one of the higher paid D Linemen in the league. But anyway, back to DT this year. Appears it is deja vu all over again! Ridiculous.

  9. You guys must be feeling pretty chippy today. A lot of truth being thrown out there with no care to the toes that are getting stepped on. I like it! You guys and your comments ROCK! Go Cowboys!

  10. I think having a good run stuffing DT even if he doesn’t necessarily get to the QB , would help significantly our LBs LVE and J Smith , maybe less big hits for LVE and thus keep him healthy , and less decision making for J Smith thus keeping him from getting exposed too badly

    I view DEs compared to DTs quite honestly as I do WRs to TEs , I’ll take prime Gronk or prime Tony Gonzalez , or maybe even Kelce with another year or 2 under his belt over a Jerry Rice , Randy Moss , or TO , not saying those guys weren’t great , they were obviously , but a TE who can run block and get open for your QB consistently , again TEs do more than WRs usually do just like how DTs do more than DEs usually do , thus imo i’d put a higher premium on those positions

    I’m also the same way when it comes to safeties vs CBs ,

    Safeties are your last line of defense , they’re asked sometimes to come up and stop the run or even blitz QB , they’ll be asked to play zone or play in man coverage ,

    whereas a CB usually will either guard a Man , or go in Zone , nothing else , usually

    Sadly Jerry and company doesn’t put a high priority on DTs or Safeties , and you see the results , our D either gets run over and gives 200 yards rushing a game , or we have blown Safety coverage deep and it results in 40 yards TDs or more

  11. Let’s see last year the cowboys signed 2 DTs (poe/mccoy) from like the worst defensive rushing team in the nfl, which is why they had the 2nd worst rushing defense in the nfl. So let’s follow that up by getting a defensive tackle from the worst defensive rushing team in the nfl. They no longer sign high priced free agents from other teams but hey let’s over pay for a linebacker who can’t even run Jaylon smith. The real problem is they overpay for there own mediocre talent that hasnt won more then 1 playoff game.

  12. You’re right. Lot of NFL people don’t get it. Control the trenches. Don’t get knocked off the ball. So much a DT does frees up the LBs to make plays. Jimmy Johnson while with the Cowboys often said the most important building blocks of a great defense starts with great tackles and corners. Give me a choice of any 2 tackles in history, I’ll let someone else have their choice of any 2 pass rushers. With all other positions being equal I firmly believe I would come out ahead much more often than not.

  13. Indeed , I actually put a higher value on DTs than DEs imo , DTs are asked to not only stop runs up the middle , but they’re also asked to go get the QB , where as a DE can only do so much vs, the run only when the run goes to their side of the field , and they’re asked to get the QB

    my levels of importance in front 7 of D , #1. LB

    #2. DT

    #3. DE

  14. Good article. Still, I don’t feel as though they “missed:” on Tomlinson. I’m sure with his anticipated worth there was no chance Jerry was gonna spend for him. He wants DTs that will play for table scraps. He has forgotten Jimmy Johnson’s theory on defensive tackles. Nick Saban another who understands. Great DTs are scarce. Compared to tackles edge rushers are a dime a dozen. Not to say rushing the quarterback is not important…it’s vital. However, when you get run over the like Cowboys have been, pass rushers get fewer chances to contribute. Bob Lilly, Randy White. Odds are they would be on another team’s Ring of Honor if Jerry Jones was the owner when they come along.

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