The thirst is real.
The Dallas Cowboys brought in 23 new players since the first round on Thursday. While they addressed the safety position with one draft pick and two UDFAs, a lot of fans think they neglected their two biggest needs, the offensive and defensive lines. Sure, they plucked a center/guard that they are very high on in first round pick Travis Frederick, but that was the only pick that addressed the trenches.
Even in the first phase of free agency, the only signing along those lines was the franchise tag placed on defensive end Anthony Spencer.
By now, everyone has heard the scuttlebutt that the new defensive coordinator thinks that he has more than capable bodies along the defensive line. I looked at the projected depth charts a couple days ago, and there are definitely bodies in place. For us to doubt what Monte Kiffin and line coach Rod Marinelli see should be an exercise in futulity... but we do it anyway.
Prior to the draft, I warned that it would be very possible for the Cowboys to have an offense-heavy draft. The theory is a sound one; let the new defensive regime get a feel for what they have. They can work on players and see if there are diamonds in the rough that weren't chiseled under the previous guy's tenure. That's what they did for Rob Ryan; only drafting Bruce Carter in 2011.
The fact that Dallas is switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 only makes that more clear. Tyrone Crawford was a great collegiate strongside DE that was moved to 3-4 DE. He's going home (and able to play the 3-tech now). Jay Ratliff, Jason Hatcher, Sean Lissemore all now have multiple positions to see what they have to offer.
Now, of course, if you have someone worth it, adding to that rotation would never be a bad idea. That doesn't mean that it was a priority, and I'm pretty sure if Kiffin thought it was, he would have made it known. Dallas did get an extra pick from what they started with and they still didn't address the D-Line. They had the UDFA signing period and they STILL didn't address the line.
But with all that said, one shouldn't assume that Dallas is done augmenting the current talent. There are no promises, but there is still a lot of talent remaining on the free agency heap after so many players found the money wasn't available for them in the first phase of free agency. Now that teams have left the draft process, we can expect for some of those guys to be brought in for visits.
Will Dallas get in on the action? Well, they are currently $4.8 million under the salary cap. They will also have another couple hundred thousand left over after the Marcus Spears June 1st money comes available and is used to ink all of the draft picks. Of course, they could just hold onto all of that money and use it towards Sean Lee and/or Dez Bryant... but you don't hear me though.
Who's out there? I'm glad you asked. Rotoworld has compiled a list of all free agents for the 2013 offseason and has been checking them off as they sign. I feel pretty secure that Dallas isn't going to be looking for a QB, RB, FB, WR, LB or CB at this point. Maybe once they get to camp, but not anyone with some pedigree at this point. Here's a rundown of who is left on the streets at the other positions, for now.