Nov 28, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Ware (94) runs on the field before the game against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game on Thanksgiving at AT
Leave your emotion, loyalty and nostalgia at the door for a minute. In other words, be the anti-Jerry Jones. Dallas needs to explore what they can get for Ware in regards to draft picks. If a team would be willing to give up a second round and a fifth round pick, you have to move him. Ware will also be 32 next year as well. He is in a decline that can either be attributed to his age and the years of pounding his body has taken or the switch to 4-3 end. Either way, you cannot deny the fact that Ware has had his worst year ever. He has had six games this season without a sack and another two with only one. He has put together back-to-back sack weeks only once and has missed three games this season. This team has too many holes to fill and is in too bad of financial shape to keep paying Ware for what he did as opposed to what he will do.
Regardless, the Cowboys must draft at least one, if not two defensive linemen and also address this position in free agency to bring in guys who can actually pressure the quarterback. The Cowboys are in the bottom five of the league in sacks which undoubtedly puts way too much pressure on the defensive backs.
As for the linebackers on this team, Sean Lee is the only guy who would be considered irreplaceable. Unfortunately, he is also incapable of playing a 16-game NFL schedule so having little to no depth at this position makes things difficult. Bruce Carter will be back but must vastly improve or else next year needs to be his last year. DeVonte Holloman will also be back based solely on need for bodies and his youth. Kyle Wilber has shown glimpses of being serviceable at his natural position and Justin Durant provides another warm body that might stick solely due to the lack of fingers to plug all the dikes on this defense. Since the free agent market is slim at this position, the draft will be a necessary way to explore making this unit better as anyone else on the current roster needs to find employment elsewhere.
Lastly, there is the secondary. I honestly believe that Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne could look a lot better if there was any pass rush. Barry Church is a NFL-caliber safety and would be greatly assisted by being the second best safety on the team. J.J. Wilcox is serviceable as a back up option if he is in on 15 plays a game or so but should not be a starter. Everyone else needs to go. The fact that B.W. Webb and Jeff Heath play significant time is a flat-out joke. Only having three corners and one safety in a pass happy league is a recipe for disaster as well. Bringing in a free agent such as Jairus Byrd, Sam Shields or Brent Grimes would be the quickest fix while using the draft for depth would also be smart.
As you can see a lot of work needs to be done to make the 2014 Dallas Cowboys defense actually watchable. Every unit needs to be improved in the draft. The most pressing need to bring in a few guys who can actually get to the quarterback. Coaching is also a necessary improvement. With the offense that the Cowboys have, the defense does not need to be dominant. They only need to be average or at least not a historically epic punch line to an abysmal joke.