One full week after the NFL Draft has concluded and undrafted free agents have been signed, all teams in the NFL should have addressed needs to be filled when it comes to their roster and the Cowboys are certainly no different. With nine guys drafted, approximately 20 or so signed as undrafted free agents and another fifteen or so given an opportunity to participate in the first rookie camp via tryout basis this weekend, there are plenty of fresh faces around Valley Ranch these days. But, is the roster any better? Has Dallas done enough through free agency and the draft to address deficiencies in both talent and positional areas that will help improve the team and hopefully get them over the 8-8 hump?
Today we’ll look at a few of the recent veteran pickups and see how they can possibly help as well as determine where the Cowboys may still need some help once everything settles into place as we head towards training camp.
This weekend, the Cowboys kicked the tires so to speak on two intriguing veterans who both have missed significant time recently due to injury.
On Friday, Dallas took a chance on a former first round draft pick, signing defensive lineman Amobi Okoye to a similar two-year deal that they have provided in the past to other reclamation projects such as George Selvie and Nick Hayden. Okoye, chosen by the Texans with the 10th selection overall in the 2007 NFL Draft started his career off in quite a promising way, earning a Defensive Rookie of the Month award and finishing his rookie campaign with 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble and over 30 tackles as just a 19-year old starter. The following three seasons introduced a massive drop off however as it took all three years for Okoye to matched his rookie year sack total. After a slight mini-resurgence in play under Rod Marinelli in 2011 with the Bears (27 tackles, 4 sacks as a backup), he had a forgettable 2012 and did not play at all last year due to a medical situation. Dallas is hoping a reunion with the new defensive coordinator is what Okoye will need to get his career back on track and that his quickness and activity level will come back into form.
Just yesterday, the Cowboys signed another highly drafted player in former Arizona Cardinals running back Ryan Williams. A second round pick in 2011, Williams’ NFL career has been lackluster to say the least. Playing in only five games in three seasons due to various injuries (knee and shoulder) which have limited his production greatly, Williams hopes to start anew in Dallas. Whether that is likely will depend largely on the health of the incumbents ahead of him on the depth chart and his own health as well. There is certainly some talent there and the time to make something out of it is now or likely never for the 24-year-old Williams.
Of the two players, it is not likely that either one of them finds a home on the 53 man roster come the end of August, however both signings are the type of low risk, high reward type that makes it worth a shot. At worst, it provides extra bodies during OTA’s and training camp and gives the vibe of a hunger and desire to make it that always is a good thing to have around. Unfortunately though, both players happen to play a position which actually seems fairly solid. There are other spots on the this team though that still require an upgrade in my opinion.