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What "exactly" is a NEED?

If you talk to my wife, a need is anything she desires. According to her, she "needs" a new pair of shoes - esp. whenever she happens to pass in front of a shoe store and sees something she likes. Instantly, she has a need - even though she already has more shoes than either of us would dare to count. I don't think I wanna know about just the black shoes or boots she has.

Dallas Cowboys fans are like my wife - just more needy. We as fans want to win the Superbowl next year and care little about the cost associated. We all want this guy because of his pass rushing ability, or that guy because of his cover skills, etc. We're always looking for the next Ware, Deion, Woodson, Allen or Lett. As we should...

But what are the Cowboys needs - really? What specific holes might the Boys have come draft time? Of course, it's too early to tell as there is still a free agency period to go through as well as the combine, etc. Plus, most assuredly, some highly touted prospect will self denigrate himself by poor decision making (like Dre Kirkpatrick already has).

From looking at the roster and counting ONLY those players who will be on contract next year (assuming Spencer is not re-signed and Newman is cut), the biggest needs are clearly: Safety, Left Outside Linebacker and Cornerback. These are the bona-fide needs - not improving these areas will leave each position substantially undermanned and with little talent.

Additionally, there are always positions on the team that could use upgrading - some positions need more drastic improvement, while others would be really nice if the talent were better but the incumbent playing now is adequate. Those positions in dire need of upgrading are: Offensive Guard, Center, Wide Receiver #3 and #4 and Defensive End. There are players in these positions that played substantial minutes last year, but their play was less than average in production.

Those which would be nice to improve (or increase depth) would be: Nose Tackle, Quarterback and Tight End. These are mostly depth needs as the incumbent is fairly decent and the primary backup is average.

Now, filling those needs can come from multiple sources - not just the draft. In fact, it's my opinion that there are substantial needs that can be filled via free agency.

For cornerback - I suggest Terrell Thomas.

Terrell Thomas Giants 2010-2011 Highlights|| HD|| (via xXxThatStarxXx)

He's a 6'1", 202 lb, 27 yr old CB drafted in the 2nd round (by the Giants) from USC. His stats are fairly decent in that he's accounted for 5 INTs in both 09 and 10 to go along w/ 4 forced fumbles and playing some free safety. He's not a top tier CB but could easily be a #2 CB or very good #3. He is, however, injury prone. All this considered, he's not expected to be too pricey.

Also via free agency, I would lock up Laurent Robinson. Yes, this is a no-brainer but will still cost a considerable amount of money (around $5 mil / year) that I don't think fans want to dedicate to him. He's worth it in my opinion as neither Harris, Olgetree, Radway nor Holley project to be able to produce in any way close to what Robinson has already shown us this past season. Robinson has proven to standout with 2 separate NFL teams already (San Diego) and whenever you get something proven, you stick with it.

With CB #2/3 and WR #3 secured, that will probably take up about $7-9 mil in cap per year. Therefore, the other needs will need to be met via the draft (to keep costs down and to reduce greater loss of investment). In particular, I suggest drafting an OG (DeCastro), then LOLB (Curry) and free safety (Martin) in that order. In this manner, Dallas will be on its way to righting the ship. It may not produce a Superbowl next year, but the proper way to build is to make steady improvements each year. If the improvements are made correctly, the winning will take care of itself.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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