How Much of the Dallas Cowboys' Defense can Jerry Jones and Rob Ryan Re-Build in One Off-season?

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Here is what the depth chart would look like going into the opening of free-agency.

Position Starter Primary Back-up
RE Sean Lissemore
NT Jay Ratliff Josh Brent
LE Jason Hatcher
SLB Victor Butler
MILB Bruce Carter
MOLB Sean Lee
WLB DeMarcus Ware Alex Albright
LCB Orlando Scandrick
RCB Mike Jenkins
FS Danny McCray
SS Gerald Sensabaugh Barry Church

Not included in chart: Justin Paplin-Ross (S/CB), Baraka Atkins (OLB), Mario Butler (CB) , C.J. Wilson (CB), Orie Lemon (LB), Robert Calloway (DT), Mana Silva (S), Brashton Satale (LB), and Glifton Geathers (Restricted rights free-agent DE).

I did not include any of these players because none of them are guaranteed to even make the team next year. Alex Albright and Barry Church will also have to earn spots in training camp. Danny McCray is likely safe because he is one of the most prolific special teams tacklers in franchise history, and they are thin at safety.

I don’t know much about Justin Taplin-Ross other than he played both safety positions at Utah and the Cowboys have him officially listed as a CB, but I am thrilled that a DB is 6’3” and 215 lbs.

When I look at the depth chart above, several things stick out to me.  Starting at the top:

1. They need to trade or sign a starting RE; as impressive as Lissemore’s development has been, no one is suggesting that he is ready to be a full-time starter.

2. They may need a DE for depth unless they are confident in Clifton Geathers.

3. Jay Ratliff is still playing DT; this is a problem. Josh Brent is not likely to be ready to be a full-time starting NT.

4. They need another pass-rushing OLB for depth; they may need a starting OLB if Butler is not ready to take over for Spencer.

5. This plan assumes that Bruce Carter will be ready to be an every-down starting LB.

6. There is no depth at all behind Lee and Carter.

7. They need a slot corner, or they need a starting quality CB so they can keep Scandrick in the slot.

8. They need depth at CB.

9. They need a starting FS.

Is it possible to fill all those spots, holes, and needs in one off-season?

Click on the link to see how they could try to fill all of the spots in the depth chart.

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