The Dallas Cowboys forced a lot of change this offseason. And now that they’ve declared the heavy lifting over, have they done enough?
If the Dallas Cowboys‘ offseason had to be summed up into one word, that word is change. Following a disappointing 8-8 season, the Cowboys’ brass elected to make several changes on both their coaching staff and the roster. But have they now done enough to field a playoff team in 2020?
The Cowboys kicked off those changes a week following the end of the 2019 regular season, firing longtime head coach Jason Garrett and replacing him with Mike McCarthy. The former Green Bay Packers head coach then went about the business of replacing nearly everyone on the coaching staff.
Despite the massive regime change, much of the offseason in Dallas has still been centered around their pending free agents. Specifically, quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and cornerback Byron Jones. One was tagged, one was extended, and one found greener pastures in free agency.
And while the ongoing contract negotiations between Prescott and the Cowboys continue to dominate headlines, the team has tried their best to fill voids and upgrade their roster. The exodus of former starters like Byron Jones, tight end Jason Witten, center Travis Frederick, defensive end Robert Quinn, wide receiver Randall Cobb, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, and safety Jeff Heath have made way for a slew of new faces in Dallas.
The Cowboys used free agency to sign veterans like defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, quarterback Andy Dalton, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, cornerback Daryl Worley, and kicker Greg Zuerlein. Dallas also landed a very talented draft class with rookies like wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs, and defensive tackle Neville Gallimore all expected to make an impact in their first-year.
There have been so many moves, in fact, Dallas appears to have now declared its mission accomplished for the offseason. Here’s what Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told the Dallas Morning News recently.
"“I feel like we’ve done what we set out to do … I’d say yeah, the heavy lifting is probably done on player acquisition. There is a chance we add one or two more. It can always happen. But we’re ready to go. If this is what we have, we’re ready.”"
Looking over the Cowboys’ updated roster and it does appear the team has done a solid job addressing their overall needs. But there remain some areas of concern.
Dallas attempted to replace Quinn at defensive end by signing former All-Pro, Aldon Smith. But both Smith and second-round pass rusher Randy Gregory are currently suspended and seeking reinstatement from the NFL. Although the Cowboys have several names on their roster who could play the position, it’s doubtful any of them could replace the production (11.5 sacks) posted by Quinn last season.
Safety could also be an area of concern. Despite the presence of Xavier Woods and the recent signing of Clinton-Dix, the Cowboys still need a proven defensive playmaker at the position. There’s some speculation that one or more of their 12 cornerbacks could be shifted to safety, which is something the team might experiment with this summer.
While there are certainly some positional battles to be had for significant roles, the Dallas Cowboys appear to have several candidates under contract who will attempt to win them. But what do you think? Do you believe the Cowboys have done enough this offseason to field a winning team in 2020? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.