With Dak Prescott signed, the Cowboys priorities are simple

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith (58)(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Aldon Smith (58)(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Dallas Cowboys finally got Dak Prescott signed to a deal. Whew! Glad that saga is over. Now the real work can begin.

By “real work”, this is what you mean. The Dak Prescott thing was inevitable, as it had to be, because (becomes a broken record) if you don’t have a quarterback, you have nothing.

What is “the real work” though? What does that look like for the Dallas Cowboys? That’s a fairly simple answer too. It starts with protecting Dak and then helping him out on the other side of the ball.

The Dallas Cowboys got Dak Prescott signed to a deal and now their priorities should be simple

While Jerry Jones has a penchant for attempting to sign the big-name guy, that player is usually not a defender, aside from the Earl Thomas epic of the last few seasons. The thing about this season though is that this phenomenon and what the Cowboys actually need are about as congruent as perpendicular Iines.

The Dallas Cowboys need a few things more than any others. Both of those things start up front.

While they need to do a bit of work to re-tool their offensive front, as they experienced a lot of bad fortune there last season with injuries to La’el Collins and Tyron Smith and they were getting new players acclimated, they don’t need a complete makeover.

They don’t have the problem of trying to replace certain guys, yet, while they do they need to ensure that if something happens to or with one of the guys they are counting on, they have an, at least, suitable backup in place.

On the other side of the ball up front, they have the tools to solve one part of that equation. They need to get Aldon Smith re-signed, point blank and period.

Randy Gregory was on a resurgent path last season. Though DeMarcus Lawrence didn’t have his best year last season, he is still a really good rush end. Throw in Bradley Anae, who we haven’t seen a ton of but has received rave reviews from his teammates along with his gaudy production from college and you have a group of guys right there, alone, who you would trust to chase the quarterback.

That’s where the buck stops though. Just like they need help on the other side to plug up holes that defenders can run through to sack Dak, they need help on the defensive side of the line to plug up holes that hopefully keep them from getting gashed by opposing runners.

That’s where their priorities should be. They should be focusing on big bodies for both fronts.

People will point to the linebackers and defensive backs, which is fair, but patiently follow for a second. If the defensive line does a better job at their jobs, then that makes the linebacker’s job easier and more doable, since their jobs are essentially to fill in the holes that the lineman don’t.

At the far back end with the secondary, a similar case can be made for them. An old football adage is that if one of your secondary players is your leading or best tackler, then your team isn’t very good.

If that is the case, then that means that a lot of ball-carriers are getting through to that level, meaning your first two levels are bad. Secondly, if your first two levels are playing well, that means less time that your secondary has to cover.

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It’s not that simple, but it really is. While a better front doesn’t ensure that your second and third level will be excellent, it ensures that they have the best chance to be excellent.

The rest is, obviously, on them, but the Cowboys front was so bad last season that it was hard to make a true assessment. That’s just honesty.

This is why their priorities should now be addressing both fronts. They have the pieces in place at most other positions, as if they can nail those two sections down, that should be good for at least two more wins right there.