Cowboys Draft Needs & Roster Review: Part 1

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Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates a victory with the offensive line on the sidelines against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat St. Louis Rams 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 22, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates a victory with the offensive line on the sidelines against the St. Louis Rams at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat St. Louis Rams 31-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

TIGHT ENDS
Jason Witten – 32, cap number – $8.41 million
Gavin Escobar – 23, cap number – $956,900
James Hanna – 25, cap number – $596,200

Witten continues to be one of the very best at his position and the only solid option the Cowboys seemingly ever have at this position. Escobar was a major disappointment in his rookie campaign while Hanna did not provide any real progression in his second season either. Using another pick on a tight end would seem awfully foolish since Escobar was a second rounder and Hanna was a sixth in back to back drafts.

DRAFT NEED – Low

OFFENSIVE LINE
Tyron Smith – 23, cap number – $3.97 million
Ronald Leary – 25, cap number – $495,000
Travis Frederick – 23, cap number – $1.56 million
Mackenzy Bernadeau – 28, cap number – $4.07 million
Doug Free – 30, cap number – $6.52 million
Jeremy Parnell – 28, cap number – $1.83 million
Phil Costa – 27, cap number – $1.72 million
Darrion Weems – 26, cap number – $570,000

Smith and Frederick will be top-level starters for years and years and provide the Cowboys with immediate cap relief and excellent production. Free and Bernadeau probably make too much but are balanced out by the other two. Leary is a steal for his cap number and rounds an improving a solid starting five. The backups are decent but certainly not viable as replacements but also provide low cap numbers. The Cowboys could certainly look to a veteran option as a backup or a fairly high draft choice to replace Free or Bernadeau either as a starter or outright.

DRAFT NEED – Moderate to High (3rd-5th round)

On Tuesday, we’ll examine the defense and special teams to see how and where Dallas can improve the roster for the 2014 season.

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