So obviously this post is assuming (hoping) this lockout mess is all cleaned up and there will be a free agency. Now before we know what positions we will need to target through FA we will have to look to see who will not be in a cowboys uniform next year and look back on our draft and see how these new draftees fit in to our team.
IN: RT Tyron Smith-
This kid will step in immediately and vastly improve this broken down offensive line. Their really is no question he will step in and start right away probably at RT at first. The new #77 should anchor this o line for many years to come.
OUT: RT Marc Colombo-
He is no longer capable of starting on this line and their is no reason to keep him around. He was the biggest weakness on a weak o line and he should be cut and be done in Dallas for good.
In: ILB Bruce Carter-
This pick was kind of a head scratcher for me, yes linebacker is a need for us but if I wanted an injury prone one here I would've taken Dequan Bowers. We also passed on the best safety in the draft in Rahim Moore. But I am not here to bash the picks. Carter is a good player when healthy and him and Sean Lee together at ILBexcites me if both can stay on the field. Carter is super athletic, a good tackler, and covers well.
OUT: ILB Keith Brooking-
I love KeithBrooking, I love his passion, I love his leadership, I love his intensity. But we saw last year that he is not the same player anymore, he is 35 and his body is breaking down. He can no longer be a starter for us anymore. Sean Lee will move into the starting lineup with Bradie James and Bruce Carter will step in any replace Lee.
HIGH ALERT: ILB Bradie James-
James is no kid either, while he is still a solid linebacker he also is getting up there in age. In a year or two Carter should step in and take James' job if all goes well.
IN: RB Demarco Murray-
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love the player but don't love the pick. Murray is a home run hitter, not exactly the RB I expected to be drafted by us in the draft but I am not complaining. I do think Murray will fit in nicely and be a nice compliment to Felix Jones I just think it was too high to go RB when we have so many more needs we had to address. This kid loves playing football and works hard, he is a Jason Garrett kind of player which makes him my kind of player. I embrace this pick and cant wait to see him in action.
OUT: RB Marion Barber-
This has seemed like a forgone conclusion ever since he decided to go casual on a team plane and pissed of JG. Barber in his prime was one of my favorite Cowboys but like Brooking and Colombo he is breaking down (notice a pattern?). There simply is no need for him anymore and Jerry sealed his fate in the third round on Friday.
HIGH ALERT: RB Tashard Choice-
Jerry's selection of Murray not only sent a message to Barber but also to Choice.The message is he needs to accept his role as the 3rd back on this team and contribute on special teams, something Marion Barber was not able to do. Choice will still have a role in this running game he will just be the 3rd option. We can have a dynamic trio of backs if all of them can realize there role and contribute.
IN: OG David Arkin-
I'll be honest, I don't know a lot about this kid. He comes from a small school and is versatile which is always a plus, he can play guard or tackle. He started all 44 games he played in college and he says his biggest attribute is his aggressiveness and work ethic. He also claims hes a physical presence which sounds good. He is another "Garrett Guy" so I cant complain.
OUT: OT Alex Barron-
Is it actually possible we lost the Carpenter/Barron trade even though the rams cut Barbie Carpenter almost immediately after the trade? I think after you watch the opener against the Redskins we can all agree the answer is... maybe. Not much more to be said except good bye and good riddance.
HIGH ALERT: OG Leonard Davis-
While Bigg might be around for at least another year, the selection of Arkin should scare him a little. If he slips up this year he could be benched and let go at the end of the year.
IN: CB Josh Thomas-
This is one pick that not only shocked me but also Thomas himself. He says he thought the call from the Boys was a prank call. He is undersized, has average speed, and apparently bricks for hands. So why did we take him? Well hes a willing hitter and is pretty quick on the field despite his average straight away speed. Hes a local kid, a lifelong Cowboys fan, and hes thrilled to be here. Again I think this is a questionable pick but I will embrace it because we have another finisher and hard worker. Worst case scenario were getting a very good special teams player here.
HIGH ALERT: CB Terrence Newman and CB Bryan Mccann
Now I dont think Thomas will be pushing anyone off this team but Ido think the selection makes both TNew and Mccann a little worried. Newman looked slow last year, he got beat deep way more then he shouldve. I don't think he has anything to worry about this year, he should be a cowboys in 2011 but if he shows more signs of aging he could be gone by 2012. Scandrickcould move into the starting spot with Thomas in that 3rd slot. Mccann has more to worry about this upcoming year. We obviously saw his big play ability this year but i don't know if that will be enough to keep him around. Thomas and Mccann should battle it out in camp for the 4th cb spot.
IN: WR Dwayne Harris-
Hopefully Harris will continue his outstanding carreer at ECU when the season starts. I felt he was a steal in the 6thround. He has great hands and is an excellent route runner, his specialty is catching the ball in traffic. He will play with a chip on his shoulder since he does not have impressive height or elite speed, but I still beleive he will be an instant contributer to our offense.
OUT: WR Sam Hurd-
Hurd has always been a solid special teams player for us but I expect him to want a receivers contract this offseason not a special team players contract. He hasn't shown he could be a big contributer on offense for us and Harris will his spot on this squad.
HIGH ALERT: WR Roy Williams-
I think RWis a solid receiver, obviously he isn't worth a whole draft and 7 mil but if you look past what we gave up for him he is a great redzone target for us. But the problem is obviously the $$$ so if Dwayne Harris can prove he is a viable option for Romo and Witten proves he can be our primary redzone target, there is no need for RW anymore.
IN: FB Shaun Chapas-
I've already seen comparisons to Moose, I dontknow how much truth their is to it but it still excites me. Chapas is an option in the passing game, something we haven't had at fullback for years. I do think it will be Chapas vs Phillips in camp for the FB spot.
OUT: RB Chris Gronkowski-
As and UDFA, Gronk worked hard to make this team and start for this team, but Tony Romo can tell you that he wasn't the strongest blocker nor the best pass catcher. Whether it be Chapas or Phillips, a upgrade at FB is a necessity.
IN: C Bill Nagy-
Nagy was 2 picks away from Mr. Irrelevant but hopefully he can make the team and be a solid backup for us. He can play all 3 interior line positions which makes him valuable to us. I don't think he will push anyone off the team but he could battle Phil Costa or Montrae Holland for backup spots.
IN- Smith, Carter, Murray, Arkin, Thomas, Harris, Nagy
OUT- Colombo, Brooking, Barber, Barron, Hurd, Gronkowski
After the draft we still have plenty of holes to fill, specifically at Safety and Dline. So before we see who we sign in FA, we have to see what FAs we let walk or resign
Marcus Spears- Let go, time to cut ties with him, we will replace him through FA
Alex Barron- Let go, replaced by Arkin
Gerald Sensabaguh- Let go, not a bad year, just time for a change
Alan Ball- Let go, with a healthy AOA there is no need to keep him around
Sam Hurd- Let go, Harris will take his spot
Jason Hatcher- Resign, him, Bowen, and Rat could make a pretty solid dline
Stephen Bowen- Resign, I really like what I see from him, well give him a chance to start
Doug Free- Resign, needs to get done no question
Kyle Kosier- Resign, he wont want too much $$$ and he is solid
Keith Brooking- Cut, with the addition of Carter their is no longer a spot for him
Marion Barber- Cut, ^^^ same goes with Barber and Murray
Chris Gronkowski- Cut. Chapas or Phillips will push him out during camp
Kris Brown- Cut, well go with Buehler or a FA signing
Igor Olshansky- Cut, looked sluggish on the field, needs to be let go
Now we have 4 FA's we need to sign in addition to the draft picks to push us over the edge and make us a super bowl contender again
IN: S Michael Huff-
Now this has been a popular suggestion on this site and I personally love the idea. I've loved Huff since his days as a longhorn, but he has not lived up to his high draft selection but that doesn't mean he has been bad. Last year he had his best year with 94 tackles, 3 picks, and 4 sacks. He has shown interest in signing with us and even has worked out with other Cowboys players. He played with Rob Ryan in Oakland and I think those two together could really improve our horrendous safety play from last year.
IN: DE Cullen Jenkins-
It looks like Jenkins won't be returning to the Super Bowl champion Packers which is good news for us. He is an ideal 3-4 end. He had 7 sacks last year compared to Spears' 0. He can get to the passer and is solid against the run. He will take some pressure of Ratliff. Him, Ware, Rat, and hopefully an improved Anthony Spencer will make qb's dread the day they play us.
IN: K David Akers-
Picture this, Christmas eve vs the Eagles, playoffs on the line, our ball at the 35 with 2 ticks left on the clock. David Akers comes in and drills the game winning field goal wearing a Cowboys uniform, sending his old team packing and punching our tickets to the playoffs. When the eagles draft Alex Henery in the 4th round (?????) they pretty much told Akers, its been fun but goodbye. Buehler can stick around for kickoffs and to learn under Akers for a year or two. It is the perfect situation I think.
IN: S Deunta Williams UDFA-
This kid is second round talent who went undrafted due to injuries. I really think its a no brainer to bring him, it's low risk high reward. He is a ballhawk, something weve been looking for for years. Worst case scenario he comes in and pushes AOA, best case scenario he is our Darren Sharper.
So after all of these acquisitions lets check out our depth chart for the start of the 2011 season.
QB- Romo, Kitna, Mcgee
RB- Jones, Murray, Choice
WR1- Austin, R. Williams, Ogeltree
WR2- Bryant, Harris, Johnson
TE- Witten, Bennett, Phillips
LT- Free, Arkin
LG- Kosier, Holland
C- Gurode, Costa
RG- Davis, Nagy
RT- Smith, Young
LE- Bowen, Hatcher
RE- C. Jenkins
DT- Ratliff, Brent
LOLB- Spencer, Butler
LILB- James, Carter
RILB- Lee, L. Williams
ROLB- Ware, B. Williams
LCB- Newman, Thomas, Mccann
RCB- Jenkins, Scandrick
FS- Huff, Mccray
SS- Owuso-Ansah, D. Williams, Church
K- Akers, Buehler
KR- Murray, Mccann, Harris, Bryant
PR- Bryant, Murray, Mccann, Harris
yes that is exactly 53 players
So what do you think?