After a rough season in 2020, the Dallas Cowboys have a lot of changes to make if they want to seriously compete next year. While injuries played a massive part in Dallas’ dismal start to the new decade, at the end of the day their roster just wasn’t good enough top to bottom.
As the Cowboys enter the offseason, the top priority of course needs to remain signing quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term extension. However, even after securing their franchise QB, Dallas is still going to be more than just one or two players away from serious contention.
With that in mind, here are some of the Dallas Cowboys biggest needs to address this offseason outside of re-signing Prescott:
Death, taxes, and another year of considering defensive back to be one of the major holes on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster. Somethings in life truly just feel inevitable, don’t they?
Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Xavier Woods, and special teams ace C.J. Goodwin are all headed towards free agency. Of those four, the only player who feels like a virtual-lock to return is Goodwin but he sees the bulk of his time on special teams, playing just 18 defensive snaps all year.
Last year’s second-round pick Trevon Diggs had a very solid rookie season, getting beat (as rookies tend to do) but also frequently flashing the ability to be a star, all while injuries forced him to match up with some of his opponent’s best wide receivers right out of the gate. I firmly believe Diggs can be a star on this defense, but even if he is playing to his fullest potential, he and slot corner Anthony Brown aren’t going to be enough to stop opposing offenses.
The Cowboys would be wise to keep either Awuzie or Lewis, but they also shouldn’t overpay for either. Awuzie in particular is a good player, but he feels like a prime candidate to be overpaid in free agency this offseason. With the 10th overall pick in the draft, the perfect situation for Dallas could be to have their choice of either Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley or Diggs’ former teammate, Alabama’s Patrick Surtain II. Both could be very good fits in Dan Quinn’s defense.
Since Darren Woodson retired and Roy Williams left in free agency, safety has been a perpetual concern for America’s Team. It is again this year, so what else is new? Donovan Wilson played admirably once he took over the starting job from Darian Thompson. While Woods has largely played solidly throughout his tenure in Dallas.
Woods was never spectacular, but he definitely played above his sixth-round draft selection. Even if he returns, the Cowboys could still stand to significantly upgrade at safety and should jump at any chance to do so.
As a whole, the 2021 draft is a bit weaker on safeties, but a day two or three pick would make sense. Additionally, there are some players entering free agency who could be great additions if the cap situation allows the Cowboys to make a move. That said, Dallas is notorious for declining to throw money at the safety position, and we’ve seen how that has played out year after year.