Dallas Cowboys: Free agency moves reveal draft plan

Gerald McCoy, Carolina Panthers (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Gerald McCoy, Carolina Panthers (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /
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Tyrone Crawford #78 of the Dallas Cowboys in action against the Cleveland Browns
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Forgotten Pieces

The Cowboys defensive line was thin last season, but it’s not as if they didn’t have players on their roster. Two players would have been at the very least starter caliber players that did not play or were limited due to injuries.

These two are defensive linemen Tyrone Crawford and Randy Gregory. Crawford was held out of the majority of the season due to hip problems resulting in surgery and Gregory has been suspended.

The good news is that Crawford should be back and Gregory has filed for reinstatement and is awaiting commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision. Hopefully, Crawford returns at 100 percent and it appears likely that Gregory will be reinstated.

The new CBA drastically lowers the penalties for those that fail drug tests for marijuana. That’s good for Gregory, whose suspensions were a result of using marijuana. This increases the likelihood of him being reinstated and prevents him from further suspensions.

While they are not All-Pros, they are impact players. I previously referenced this in an article from last week, but it is something that it appears some people are still missing.

"“When adding their stats from the 2018 season, Dallas would ‘get back’ 11.5 sacks and 59 tackles.”"

I’m sure if they were both there last season then the defense would perform much better. The Cowboys were forced to try to make something work. While the defense didn’t play bad, they simply did not play well enough.

Adding both would be a great return for both the pass rush and stopping the run. Add 2019 second-round pick Trysten Hill who has not had much of an opportunity yet. The depth chart for the Cowboys defensive line looks quite full.

Let’s not forget about breakout safety Xavier Woods. The former sixth-round pick was able to intercept two passes and make 77 tackles.

Over the past two seasons, Woods has been given more responsibility. It looks like the more responsibility he is getting, the better he plays.

He played 86 percent of defensive snaps in 2018 and 91 percent in 2019. That saw his solo tackles increase by 13 and total tackles increase by 21.

Maybe he isn’t a Pro Bowl safety yet, but he can be in a season or two. While the safety has been progressing every season, his spot may not be guaranteed. Especially with a possible prospect and Clinton-Dix in the mix now.

If Dallas was to draft a defensive lineman on either the first or second day, where would he be on the depth chart? Would it be better off to wait out a year? Should Dallas cut or trade one or two?