Veteran Back-up Quarterback: This is a free agency must. With the recent retirement of Jon Kitna, Dallas desperately needs a back-up quarterback with experience. As of now, former Aggie Stephen McGee is their back-up and the Cowboys do not trust him with the job despite the amount of time and money they have poured into the fourth year player. Names like Kyle Orton, Chad Henne or Donovan McNabb have been tossed around. A more likely choice, and more cap friendly one, would be a Drew Stanton or a Charlie Batch.
Safety: With Abram Elam still not having re-signed with the Cowboys, it appears Dallas will go another direction here. Obviously, they’d want to go younger and with someone that has more game changing ability. I don’t see a rookie doing this. That means signing a free agent like LaRon Landry or, more likely, Brodney Pool.
Cornerback: It remain to be seen what the Cowboys will do about veteran Terence Newman. Many expect him to be released due to the overwhelming amount of money due him next season ($6.016 million in base salary). If Newman is willing to take a salary cut, he could stay on with the team. Regardless, Dallas needs a new starting cornerback, if not two of them. The play of Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick late last year proved that. Rumor has it Brandon Carr is who the Cowboys are targeting. But names like Cortland Finnegan, Terrell Thomas, Carlos Rogers, and Aaron Ross are also possibilities.
Guard: The sexy name out there is Carl Nicks. The unfortunate truth is Nicks will be demanding high-end money. If Dallas pays him, it would hurt their chances of landing any other semi-big names at other positions. Getting Nicks means the Cowboys would have to find a majority of their new talent in the draft instead of free agency.
Inside Linebacker: Here’s the big question – Do you believe in second year player Bruce Carter as a starter or not? They did use a second round pick on him after all. If the Cowboys do believe, then a back-up veteran or rookie could be brought in here. If not, the Cowboys have a huge need at inside linebacker. Rumors have been swirling about the possible resigning of Keith Brooking. I’d prefer the Cowboys sign a younger veteran like David Hawthorne to fill that role. Other lower tier names in free agency include London Fletcher, Mike Peterson, and James Farrior.
Wide Receiver: There is only one name here…Laurent Robinson. The goal is to re-sign him without braking the bank. Robinson has had one great year and a long history of injuries. He’s expressed his interest in staying and who could blame him? Robinson wasn’t very touted coming into the organization in Week Two of last season. Let’s hope he gives Dallas the home team discount.
Fullback: Re-sign Tony Fiammetta. Enough said.
Defensive End – Mario Williams is a pipe dream. I still think Jay Ratliff moves over to this position and we draft a true defensive tackle.
Other needs include a tight end and a punter. I actually like John Phillips at tight end. So a third tight end could be signed for cheap. And last year’s free agent rookie Chris Jones did an admirable job filling in for the injured Mat McBriar at punter. I think either one of them will do a fine job for us.
Finally, here’s my fear about the Dallas Cowboys in free agency. That they will once again shy away from the big name free agents in an effort to fill numerous holes. Then, when they finally decide to act, the only names left are Abram Elam and Kenyon Coleman-type players. Although these players were good additions to the team, they didn’t lift their positions up to the level we needed them to be. The Cowboys need to get playmakers in free agency, not role players. The Cowboys should choose quality over quantity every time.