When this lockout mess is finally sorted out, the Dallas Cowboys are going to have a lot of work to do in free agency. There are a lot of holes and lack of depth all over the roster and it is crucial to fill them if the team is going to be competitive in 2011 and return to glory.
Gregg Rosenthal of ProFootballTalk.com came up with five pointers for the Cowboys when free agency starts. Let’s break down his list:
1. Find a starting safety.
This one is a no-brainer and something that Cowboys fans have been calling for loud and clear. If starting safety Gerald Sensabaugh is not re-signed, the team is left with only unproven and inexperienced players at the position. Dallas needs to do something about the safety position which has haunted the team for years.
2. Fix defensive end depth.
I was all for the team using their first-round pick in the draft on Wisconsin defensive end JJ Watt. The reason for the selection would not just be because Watt has the ability to be a special player, but because the Cowboys have three free agents at defensive end.
3. Cut Marion Barber.
This was a no-brainer before the draft and then the Cowboys went ahead and drafted DeMarco Murray in the third round. It is possible that Murray could win the starting job early in his rookie season and there really is no reason to keep Barber now. Cutting Barber would open up a lot of cap space and allow the team to address other needs during free agency.
4. Re-sign Doug Free.
Dallas drafted Tyron Smith in the first round, but the plan is to start him at right tackle to replace Marc Colombo. Bringing back Doug Free is probably one of the most important things for the Cowboys to do and it was even stated that it is their top priority. Bringing Free back is key to having the offensive line improve.
5. Don’t overspend too badly.
With all of the holes the team has to fill and all of the players the team needs to bring back, it will be hard to not spend a lot of money. Spending money is okay, but it will be the overspending for players at a need position that could come back to hurt the Cowboys. If a player like Michael Huff is available and interested, bring him in for what he is worth. Don’t pay the guy Nnamdi Asomugha money — which would be another great player to add to the roster.
Rosenthal did a nice job with his checklist on the Cowboys needs. Of course, many of his points were obvious but sometimes those things need to be said over and over again so they can become reality.