4. Will Hernandez, G
Chances are high that the Cowboys will be re-making some of their offensive line this offseason. They have two unrestricted free agents that started several games in Connor McGovern and Jason Peters. McGovern never developed into the player they hoped he would be when they added him out of Penn State and Peters is going to be 41.
They also have a restricted free agent in Terence Steele, but re-signing him feels like a no-brainer considering how much he’s developed in the past couple of seasons.
With holes at wide receiver and cornerback, they would be wise to look to free agency to help fill out their line and one player who was once tied to the Cowboys during the draft could be the answer. Will Hernandez was a hot name in the 2018 NFL Draft and the UTEP star was seen taking in a Bruce Willis movie with several members of the Cowboys offensive line that March.
While not all of the players on that line are still in Dallas, a couple of them are — Tyron Smith and Zack Martin. Perhaps they can help lure him to Dallas now after he spent four seasons with the New York Giants and one with the Arizona Cardinals.
A second-round pick for New York, Hernandez never seemed to be comfortable in their lineup but was much better in 2022. In Dallas, he could become a road-grader, giving them even more depth and options on a line that had to do a lot of shuffling this year.
3. Jamel Dean, CB
Anthony Brown is an underrated player but unfortunately, he’s also become an unreliable player. A sixth-round pick from Purdue in 2016, Brown has not played a full schedule since 2017 and missed a total of 12 games the past three seasons.
That could lead to the Cowboys moving in a different direction in 2023 — and with Kelvin Joseph and Nahshon Wright failing to impress while Brown was injured, that might lead to them searching for outside help.
One name to watch in this regard is Jamel Dean, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Auburn product was added in 2019 as a third-round pick and developed into a full-time starter. He’s recorded 193 tackles, 41 pass defenses, and seven picks in four seasons and was the 11th overall cornerback in the league according to PFF.
Dean doesn’t get the recognition he deserves for how well he’s played in his career but he would be an instant upgrade for the Cowboys in their secondary.
He stands 6-foot-1 and ran a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash. Having him line up across from Trevon Diggs with Daron Bland as the No. 3 corner would be a tough matchup for most teams.
Of course, Dallas would have to be concerned with his price tag. Diggs will be up for a new deal soon, so if Dean asks for too much, they might have to look elsewhere.