Dallas Cowboys free agent moves point to defensive draft

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Members of the the Dallas Cowboys defense huddle before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at AT
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 05: Members of the the Dallas Cowboys defense huddle before a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at AT /

With an eye towards the offense in free agency, the Dallas Cowboys will likely use the draft to once again stockpile defensive talent.

After sitting out the first round of free agency, a customary tactic these days, the Dallas Cowboys finally got to work.  The last NFL team to actually sign a free agent, Dallas put together a busy second week.

Five outside free agents have chosen to wear the Star are coming to Dallas.  Four of those five are on the offensive side of the ball.  Deonte Thompson, Allen Hurns, Marcus Martin and Cameron Fleming all have signed this past week.

The Cowboys are also bringing back long snapper L.P. Ladouceur and backup offensive linemen Joe Looney.  The lone defensive player signing with the Cowboys is special teamer and backup linebacker Joe Thomas.

Eight signings, seven offensively seem to be tipping the Dallas Cowboys hand come late April.

If you’re a Dallas Cowboys fan, prepare yourselves for another draft similar to last season.

Last year, the Cowboys were the owners of nine draft picks.  Of those nine, seven players who were selected were defensive players.

This year, Dallas has ten selections.  Will they use all ten?  Probably not.  Will they have more balance as to what side of the ball they address in the draft?  Probably not.

I think it’s quite fair to assume that the Dallas Cowboys will once again draft heavily with an eye on upgrading the defense.

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Without question, linebacker is the biggest need on this team.  Depending on how the draft goes, if either Tremaine Edmunds from Virginia Tech or Georgia’s Roquan Smith falls below the tenth pick, expect to see Dallas make a move.

Their first and second round picks are worth 1,275 points according to the NFL Draft value chart.  That’s exactly enough to get them any pick they desire starting with the 11th pick overall.

If both guys are gone before then, or if they find that to be too costly, there are still plenty of options available.

As we all know, the Cowboys have an affinity for Boise State players.  Since 2008, only products from Oklahoma University have become Cowboys more than the Broncos from Boise.

After the success of Orlando Scandrick, Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence, could a fourth Bronco be ready to be a Cowboy?  With the 19th overall selection, Dallas will look hard at Leighton Vander Esch.

Another possible pick at that position could be Iowa’s Josey Jewell.  Coming from the University of Iowa, think of him as a Sean Lee clone.  Jewell could fall to round three, although his recent pro day may bump him into that late second round area.

Would Dallas be willing to include their third and fourth round picks to get back into round two?

Another area where you can never have enough depth is defensive line.  If Dallas decides to move down from their perch at 19, keep an eye on USC’s Rasheem Green.  The Cowboys could obtain a late second round pick by moving down and draft Green who seems to play similar to David Irving.

Earning First-team All Pac-12 honors is impressive in its own right.  The stats show why he deserved said honors, however. 12.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 43 total tackles and four pass breakups for the versatile 6’5” lineman will certainly have him in the late first round.

Of course, there is also the guy who seems to be a popular choice if fans were running this draft.  With the focus seemingly on quarterbacks, it’s feasible to see Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea be there at pick 19.

The 6’4″, 347 pound monster in the middle would demand double teams immediately.  That could free up fellow lineman as well as linebackers like Lee and Jaylon Smith to make play after play in the backfield.

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As you can see Dallas’ free agent foray is serving a purpose.  With the focus being on offensive depth, the table is set for another run on defensive players in the draft.  Having ten picks also allows for a lot of movement in the draft.  Whether they move up to get a superstar or down to attain more second and third round selections, the options are limitless.

One thing we do know, the Dallas Cowboys will be an entertaining team come draft night.