The Dallas Cowboys were active during the first wave of free agency. They’ve boosted their roster and made moves to improve from last year.
They traded for both Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks just weeks apart. The cornerback and wide receiver positions were a huge liability for the Cowboys last season and the team addressed that this offseason. The two trades only cost Dallas two fifth-round picks and a future sixth.
Then, the Cowboys added much-needed depth to their roster. They added players like offensive lineman Chuma Edoga and running back Ronald Jones. These players won’t be flashy signings but could be huge pickups if they pan out.
Most importantly though, the Cowboys re-signed a handful of in-house free agents, including Leighton Vander-Esch, Donovan Wilson, Cooper Rush, and Dante Fowler Jr. All four players showed out last season, so getting them back will be huge in 2023.
But as the calendar turns April, the Cowboys still need to address several positions on their roster. The NFL Draft will be a good time for Dallas to do that.
But what are the team’s three biggest position needs after their free-agent spending spree?
3 biggest remaining position needs for the Cowboys
1. Tight End
There are a lot of different positions that could have gone here: linebacker, offensive line, wide receiver, kicker. But with the Cowboys adding Cooks, re-signing Vander Esch, and keeping Tyron Smith, tight end felt like the biggest need of the five after the first wave of free agency.
Dallas lost Dalton Schultz to free agency this offseason and the tight end signed a mere one year, $9 million with the Texans. For the price, it would have been nice for the Cowboys to re-sign Schultz. After all, he was Dak Prescott’s security blanket.
But with his departure, the Cowboys will lean on a pair of sophomores now in Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot.
Ferguson showed glimpses of his potential when Schultz went down with injury last season. In Week 6, the rookie had four catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. On the year, he had 19 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
As for Hendershot, he showed that he can be a solid backup in the NFL after going undrafted in the 2022 NFL Draft. In Week 3, he had a 3 catch for 43-yard game and even ran in a touchdown on Thanksgiving against the Giants.
Both players could easily take that next step with Schultz gone. But at 24 years old, Ferguson and Hendershot are still extremely young and need more room to develop.
They could both be reliable targets for Prescott next season, though, signing a veteran tight end would probably be the Cowboys’ best bet. Getting a player like Cameron Brate or Dan Arnold could help the team now, while also helping develop the two young tight ends.
If Dallas doesn’t sign another tight end, drafting one early in the 2023 NFL Draft could become a reality. The Cowboys drafted tight ends early twice over the past 17 years: Gavin Escobar in the second round in 2013 and Anthony Fasano in the second round in 2006.
With a strong tight end draft class and Schultz on a new team, the Cowboys could lean on adding a stud option for Prescott. A player like Dalton Kincaid or Darnell Washington would be a great first-round pick for Dallas.