Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Offseason Blueprint: Cowboys
By Todd Archer
ESPN’s Insiders have a blueprint for what the Dallas Cowboys need to do to get over this 8-8 hill they have been climbing the last three seasons.
Some of it is front-office based, but that situation will not change. This is Jerry Jones’ team and he will run it the way he wants to run it.
Where the Cowboys have to improve, clearly, is on defense. The obvious need is defensive tackle -- for right now. If DeMarcus Ware is no longer on this team -- and Jones did not guarantee the franchise’s all-time leading sacker a spot -- then pass-rushing defensive end moves to the top of the chart. Rod Marinelli’s defense works only if the front four gets pressure. Without Ware and Jason Hatcher, who had 11 sacks in 2013 and is a free agent to be, the Cowboys’ best defensive lineman is George Selvie. Think about that for a moment.
The Cowboys can say they won’t draft for need, but the need will be too great to avoid. And it’s not just the draft. They would have to find a player or three in free agency.
Ware had a down year in 2013 with six sacks. That’s still more than Anthony Spencer had in five of his six seasons (I won’t include 2013 since he played only 34 snaps) and seven of Hatcher’s eight seasons.
The Cowboys need to be careful with what they are doing with Ware.