After announcing their plans to find a premier pass rusher, how will the Dallas Cowboys go about doing so this offseason?
The Dallas Cowboys are looking to bolster their roster as the team looks to make a push for the playoffs in the upcoming season. The Cowboys have several roster positions they would like to strengthen in the offseason and that process should start fairly soon.
It is no secret Dallas struggled to consistently apply pressure on opposing quarterbacks last year. And Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, along with the team’s front office, will look to remedy that in the offseason. Still, I have the feeling that this could be a bit of a smokescreen as every NFL team begin to mask their actual draft plans.
One could argue that there are two greater positions of need for the Cowboys heading into the offseason as the team will see two of their top wide receivers (Brice Butler, Terrance Williams) hit free agency. They will also see two of their top safeties in (Barry Church/J.J. Wilcox) likely hit the open market.
With players like defensive lineman Charles Tapper, linebacker Jaylon Smith, and (eventually/hopefully) Randy Gregory returning to the lineup, Dallas could see better production out of their defensive unit as they attempt to pressure opposing quarterbacks in the next couple years.
If Jones is serious in his sentiment that no matter what, the Cowboys will look to land a top tier pass rusher, then there are several ways to go about this. Number one would be to trade veteran quarterback Tony Romo.
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By doing so you could land an additional first round selection this season or a quality player along the defensive line. Romo’s contract makes this a difficult task but there are teams that could pull it off. The Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, and Los Angeles Rams all immediately jump out as teams who have the cap space to add a player like Romo.
The Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets would struggle to deal with Romo’s massive contract but teams that were obvious fits such as the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans can even make a deal work. The main question would be who is high enough on Romo to take that big of a risk. That answer is still unknown.
The second option would be through free agency. Unfortunately for Dallas, this could be quite possibly the worst free agent class for pass rushers. Sure you have veteran defensive ends like Calais Campbell, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Jabaal Sheard but that is pretty much it.
Pierre-Paul will command too much money on the open market. Sheard should get paid by someone. And Campbell is hardly a gamechanger. However he still is a pretty productive run stopper.
There is also the ever popular notion that the Denver Broncos end up parting ways with former Dallas Cowboy DeMarcus Ware. The addition of Ware could bolster the Dallas pass rush significantly, especially if he is healthy.
This leaves us with the final option, the 2017 NFL Draft. In truth, we have no idea any specific player will become the next J.J. Watt or Von Miller. But this draft is fairly deep for edge rushers. There are some interesting names getting tossed around such as Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett thanks to his plea on social media to get selected by the Cowboys.
After Garrett and Stanford’s Solomon Thomas, the other defensive ends are expected to fall to the second half of the first round. The names that the Cowboys will likely have a chance to grab towards the end of the first round are Michigan’s Taco Charlton, Missouri’s Charles Harris, and Auburn’s Carl Lawson