Cowboys focus on special teams early in free agency
By Connor Green
The Dallas Cowboys headed into this offseason with roughly $20 million and a plethora of needs that were heavily skewed towards the defensive side of the ball. Early on in free agency, the team has seemed to turn its attention to another unit, special teams.
In an otherwise quiet start to free agency, the team has seemed to turn its focus to shoring up its special teams. Yesterday, it was reported that the organization had signed veteran long snapper Jake McQuaide, a move that will likely result in the team severing its relationship with its own long-time long snapper L.P. Ladouceur.
Among a handful of other small moves the team made yesterday it was also reported that they had re-signed wide receiver Noah Brown to a one-year deal. Brown, who had 154 receiving yards for Dallas last year, plays a large majority of his snaps on special teams.
On Tuesday it was also reported that the team would be re-signing one of its premier special teams’ players, cornerback C.J. Goodwin, to a two-year deal. The 31-year old defensive back has played a pivotal role on special teams for the Dallas Cowboys since he joined the team back in 2018
The moves come after a turbulent year for the team’s special teams unit which was being led by former Los Angeles Rams special teams coach John Fassel. While the organization did appear to see an improvement in the unit last season it was still plagued with mistakes and inconsistency.
Fassel was reunited with Dallas’s starting kicker Greg Zuerlein, who used to play for the Rams, with his former coach. However, the reunion did not appear to have its desired effect last season for Dallas as the one-time Pro Bowl kicker finished the year with one of the worst field goals made percentages in his nine-year career and three missed extra points, a career-high.
The Dallas Cowboys special teams’ unit got a new coach last season and the team seems to be dedicated to providing him with quality players to work with moving forward. Hopefully, Fassel can clean up some of these mistakes on special teams next year while continuing to display the creativity that allowed them to improve in 2020.