FanPost

What will the 2013 Dallas Cowboys look like?

The Dallas Cowboys will have some decisions to make following this off season. Whether the coaches remain the same is completely up to the General Manager, President, and Owner: which in Dallas is the same guy. Jerry has stated during this season that he will always be instrumental in decisions as important as personnel acquisition.

The Cowboys under Jason Garrett showed their strategy behind personnel selection last season during the free agency period and in the draft. The biggest holes on the roster after the 2010 season were at cornerback. Dallas signed the best young cornerback in free agency and then traded up to get the best cornerback in the draft.

The previous season, the Cowboys had a huge hole at tackle and drafted Tyron Smith with the 9th overall pick while eschewing draft picks from Jacksonville to trade down. Dallas prefers to attack the weaknesses on this team by investing substantial resources in addressing them.

Utilizing a similar strategy this off season hinges upon properly evaluating which positions require significant upgrades. Adding players to make the greatest impact on the overall performance of this football team requires that those in charge take an accurate inventory on what is already on the team.

Because it is difficult for an individual to remain unbiased, a group mentality may actually better reflect the holes on this team. As always, feedback is encouraged.

Quarterback

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Tony Romo

32

10

Tony is the playmaking franchise quarterback this team needs

Yes

Kyle Orton

30

8

Orton will be on the roster next season as a quality back up

Yes

Running back

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

DeMarco Murray

24

2

Injuries are the only negative noted with Murray

Yes

Felix Jones

25

5

Hard to keep a second oft-injured RB: Dallas may try though

No

Lance Dunbar

22

R

Lance can contribute on special teams

Yes

Phillip Tanner

24

2

Has no role or spot on this team next season

No

Lawrence Vickers

29

7

Vickers has shown that he can catch the ball and block

Yes

Tight end

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Jason Witten

30

10

No question about his future in Dallas

Yes

John Phillips

25

4

Nothing really special about Phillips to make him a priority

No

James Hanna

23

R

Hanna could be a great downfield complement to Witten

Yes

Wide receiver

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Miles Austin

28

7

Injuries are holding him back...again

Yes

Dez Bryant

24

3

Dez may be the next great 88

Yes

Kevin Ogletree

25

4

Inconsistent production will probably keep him off the team

No

Dwayne Harris

25

2

His special teams contributions and WR play are promising

Yes

Cole Beasley

23

R

Reportedly Romo likes him: he will return

Yes

Andre Holmes

24

1

He is on the bubble, although Jerry was high on him

No

Donavon Kemp

23

R

The Cowboys were high enough on him to keep him on IR

Yes

Offensive line

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Phil Costa

25

3

Hard to judge, but he may replaced by a high draft choice

Yes

Kevin Kowalski

23

2

It may be a toss-up with Costa if a center is drafted

No

MacKenzy Bernadeau

26

5

He has improved as the season has progressed

Yes

Derrick Dockery

32

10

Thank you playing, but it is time to move on

No

Nate Livings

30

5

His play has been average, which is good on this o-line

Yes

David Arkin

25

2

Arkin may need one more season, but this is his last unless...

Yes

Ryan Cook

29

7

Valuable player for a 7th round pick, but knee may be shot

No

Jermey Parnell

26

3

He was not as bad as expected, which is praise on this o-line

Yes

Doug Free

28

6

Struggled again this season so a back-up plan is needed

Yes

Tyron Smith

21

2

He sets the standard on this o-line, by far

Yes

Defensive line

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Ben Bass

23

R

Young developmental player that may provide quality depth

Yes

Kenyon Coleman

33

12

He played well before getting injured, but one-dimensional

No

Jason Hatcher

30

7

He has played well but is getting long in the tooth

Yes

Sean Lissemore

25

3

He is probably Coleman's replacement

Yes

Tyrone Crawford

23

R

As Hatcher said, this kid is the future on the defensive line

Yes

Marcus Spears

29

8

It may be tough to cut him, but his fate will be tied to the draft

No

Josh Brent

24

3

Brent may need to start in 2013 if Ratliff's injuries continue

Yes

Jay Ratliff

31

8

Injuries have slowed him way down this season

Yes

Linebacker

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Alex Albright

24

2

Has position flex, but has had many uninspiring moments

No

Victor Butler

25

4

A one-dimensional player another team will overpay

No

Bruce Carter

24

2

Carter and Lee will be the heart of this team for years to come

Yes

Dan Connor

27

5

He is under contract, but has not really been impressive

No

Sean Lee

26

3

Sean needs to stay healthy to fulfill his tremendous promise

Yes

Orie Lemon

25

1

A younger, more promising linebacker than Connor

Yes

Caleb McSurdy

22

R

Dallas saw enough to draft this kid last year

Yes

Ernie Sims

27

7

Sims may have found a place on this team

Yes

Anthony Spencer

28

6

If Dallas can afford him, he should stay

Yes

DeMarcus Ware

30

8

He may be the greatest defensive player in the NFL

Yes

Kyle Wilber

23

R

He will provide depth behind Spencer after another year

Yes

Cornerback

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Vince Agnew

24

1

May stick around for depth, but Dallas will likely draft to replace

No

Brandon Carr

26

5

A solid cornerback that needs more pressure to assist him

Yes

Morris Claiborne

22

R

He is the future star of the defensive backfield

Yes

Mike Jenkins

27

5

He will take the opportunity to go somewhere else

No

Orlando Scandrick

25

5

With Jenkins' likely departure, Scandrick's spot is secure

Yes

Safety

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

Barry Church

24

3

Church will be the starting Safety next season

Yes

Eric Frampton

28

6

Eric is a special teams ace, but has not produced as a safety

No

Matt Johnson

23

R

An off season to learn and practice will only help if healthy

Yes

Danny McCray

24

3

A special teams ace that can play limited safety

Yes

Charlie Peprah

29

7

Would be nice to keep, but may go elsewhere and play

No

Gerald Sensabaugh

29

8

Tough safety that will start again in 2013

Yes

Specialists

Player

Age

Years

Notes

Keep?

L.P. LaDouceur

31

8

Great deep snapper that should stay in Dallas

Yes

Chris Jones

23

1

Good punter that should be back in 2013

Yes

Dan Bailey

24

2

Another great kicker that will hopefully stay a long time

Yes

Brian Moorman

36

12

Has performed well in his abbreviated stay but will be elsewhere

No

Of the 61 players that are either on the active roster or injured reserve, only 43 are listed to return. The linebacker and offensive line positions have three players projected not to return or be upgraded.

But numbers do not tell the whole story as the offensive line is almost unanimously regarded as the unit requiring the greatest upgrade in talent. The secondary may also need additional talent as four players (two cornerbacks and two safeties) may leave or need to be replaced to upgrade each unit.

Judging from the available talent on the team, offensive line seems to be the unit in need of the greatest infusion of young talent. Better safety play would be welcomed as well, but considering that Church has missed most of the season, that unit appears to be less of a priority.

The defensive line has numerous young players ready to step up and contribute next season. If the team can find one young defensive end that can generate pressure in addition to Hatcher, the Cowboys could boast a formidable front seven. The wide receiver position looks poised to have several young players rise through the ranks to contribute next season, but another playmaker could be added.

Dallas needs to find a suitable back-up for DeMarco Murray if Felix Jones does move on. A developmental quarterback may be added since only Orton and Romo are currently on the roster.

The Cowboys would also benefit from adding several back-up role players. Another blocking tight end and a pass rushing outside linebacker that can relieve Ware on occasion would shore up positions that are not expected to be deep next season.

No surprise: the Cowboys could invest a high draft choice to upgrade the safety position or the offensive line. Considering that Dallas has not had a history of taking an offensive lineman with a first round pick (with the notable exception of Tyron Smith, of course), the area of next greatest need could be safety.

Eric Reid of LSU may be the cream of the crop at safety, and available in the middle of the first round (Dallas currently has the 16th pick) of the 2013 NFL draft. Barrett Jones, the brilliant (he boasts a 4.0 GPA) center from Alabama may also be a target for Dallas, since Stephen Jones noted that the team would consider drafting a center in the first round last off season.

Both players would upgrade units requiring better talent and would be expected to start sometime during their rookie seasons. A guard and/or right tackle may be the target on the second day of the draft. A cornerback could also be targeted on the second day, but expect a developmental small school talent to be added at cornerback on the third day.

A running back should become a priority around the third round. Any receiver that unexpectedly drops in the draft is always a target for Jerry Jones.

In conclusion, most of the needs this team has heading into 2013 should be addressed through the upcoming NFL draft. The Cowboys could be poised to make a legitimate run next season, health permitting.

But then again, hasn't that been the story for the last decade? Maybe next year...


Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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