With the 2014 NFL Draft about a month away, the Dallas Cowboys are widely assumed to be prioritizing the reconstruction of the National Football League’s worst defense.
Numerous mock drafts offer potential lead-off acquisitions like defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Timmy Jernigan, defensive end Kony Ealy (I’m one of those) and nose guard Louis Nix III. For the Cowboys to add any of those names in the first round would be a great start.
I’m not really sold on what direction owner and general manager Jerry Jones will end up going in New York. While the correct suspicion is that a defensive player not only should be chosen, but must be chosen, might have many set up for a deflating moment when Dallas makes its first selection.
An argument can be made for simply taking the best player available, even if it’s an offensive player that was never expected to be around in the first place.
Offense hasn’t exactly been the weakest link of the Cowboys roster over the last couple of seasons. Under head coach Jason Garrett’s now-vaporized input on the offense, Dallas seldom had problems moving the football. In general, the Cowboys have shown the ability to put up points, which lends truth to Jones’ recent declaration that no rebuilding is necessary while Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo is under center.
Regardless of whether it’s Garrett, offensive coordinator Bill Callahan or new passing game coordinator Scott Linehan in charge of this offense, it’s clear that the Cowboys will have to be mighty productive if they want to be competitive next season. This means that Romo, who’s coming off multiple and recent back surgeries, will have to stay upright. It also means that Dallas will have to continue the success it enjoyed last season running the football. Running back DeMarco Murray became the first 1,000-plus yard rusher for the Cowboys since 2006 in gaining 1,121 yards on 217 carries last season. That’s good for an average of just under five yards per carry.