As we inch ever closer to the 2014 college draft, word out of Big D indicates that the Cowboys’ muckademucks have finally come to terms with the fact that the Dallas defense pretty much stunk up the league in 2013. Although insiders at The Ranch seem content with their decision to cut ties with veterans DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher because of age and injury issues, I’d be willing to bet that the front office folks in Dallas will be holding their collective breath to see how the two produce with their new teams, the Denver Broncos and rival Washington Redskins, respectively. As of this writing, the third of Dallas’ big three defensive free agents, Anthony Spencer, was still in limbo.
Despite desperate need on the defensive side of the football, Dallas has been taking on a bargain basement mentality as free agency dwindles away. Although shopping smart is rarely a bad thing, it would seem that in the Cowboys case their crazy contract decisions made in the not too distant past are catching up with them in a big way. With that thought in mind, is probably far more likely that the aforementioned jettisoning of Ware, Hatcher and possibly Spencer was out of necessity to meet cap requirements more than any other reason.
Coach Jason Garrett, who is obviously more comfortable dealing with the offense considering his past role as backup QB with the ‘Boys, finds himself in the position of having his fate attached to how the defense improves come September. This is likely the reason that the carrot-topped coach has been heard to say recently that defense will be a priority in the draft. All we can do is take him at his word and hope beyond hope that Dallas doesn’t get drawn into some last-minute wheeling and dealing that ends up depriving the Cowboys of lassoing the best defensive line or secondary players that are available when their time at the podium arrives.
It will be interesting to see if any clue as to who is really calling the shots in Dallas these days is given when the Cowboys war room is assembled. If this Cowboys’ fan had to guess at the moment, it appears that Steven Jones is getting more of a say-so, but we have no definitive way of knowing what goes on behind closed doors at The Ranch.
One odd thing that is worth noting is that Garrett seems to have removed himself from the hot-seat for the time being for some unknown and unfathomable reason. However, I suspect that regardless of the words of support and encouragement that are being spewed forth, if the Cowboys D doesn’t take big steps forward, or worse yet, the Cowboys endure another 8-8 season, the U Haul will probably be backing up to the door at the Garrett household.
Even though yours truly is certainly not our current coach’s biggest fan, I can honestly say that I wish him and whoever is really calling the shots in Cowboysland a happy and successful 2014 run in the draft and beyond. Just like the success of Coach Garrett is tied to the improvement of the defense, Dallas fans happiness is tied to his. Hopefully, we will all be smiling come January and a little luster will be added back to our beloved Star.