The Dallas Cowboys have been rumored to many players in free agency. While they haven't exactly added the best talent, the Cowboys have added some nice pieces in Cedric Thornton, Alfred Morris, and Benson Mayowa, on top of re-signing the likes of Rolando McClain, Morris Claiborne, Kyle Wilber, and Lance Dunbar. Dallas has some wiggle room to work with in terms of their cap space, but the Cowboys will be looking for the logic of "better deal rather than the better player" going forward in free agency.
With a roster that had a ton of holes that needed to be filled, the Cowboys' free agency additions will help a bit, but there are still many holes on this roster that will need to be improved upon going forward. Looking at free agency, Thornton and Morris will make immediate impacts to their respective positions, but the Cowboys could still have a ton to gain by adding a few more defensive ends in the draft.
At this point in the offseason, Dallas' biggest holes on the roster come at defensive end, backup quarterback, cornerback, safety, and wide receiver. I didn't mention running back on that list because I figure the Cowboys will go with a committee of Darren McFadden, Morris, and Dunbar. However, that doesn't exactly rule the team out from drafting another running back, perhaps even Ezekiel Elliott. Keep in mind that Morris was signed to only a two-year deal, while McFadden's and Dunbar's contracts are up after the 2016 season.
The Cowboys could go a ton of directions with their first-round pick. Considering where they're drafting, Dallas could benefit by drafting any player. Joey Bosa, Elliott, Carson Wentz, Jalen Ramsey, and even Noah Spence would all make a ton of sense for this football team. The hard part for me is planning how the rest of the draft will go depending on which position they want to address in the first round. If Dallas goes defensive end in the first round, they need to make sure that the rest of the board will play into their favor regarding their needs.
Looking at this draft, the deepest positions come across the defensive line, most notably at the 3-technique defensive tackle position and the 5-technique defensive end position, wide receiver, and even quarterback. Knowing that, the Cowboys should be able to get quality players in the second and third round. But as history has shown with the Cowboys, the team will end up getting an impact player with their first-round pick. Instead, it's more about which players in the middle rounds that can come in and play a role.
What's been going on in the past couple of days?
The Cowboys were extremely close to a deal with Patrick Robinson. It was reported that Robinson's change of agencies led to him spurning Dallas to sign with the Indianapolis Colts.
Holdup with CB Patrick Robinson: he's changed agents. Cowboys have spoken to new agent and plan to do so again later today. — David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) March 22, 2016
Dallas had a deal in place with Robinson, but because his new agent saw the opportunity for more money, Robinson left and went that route. Losing out on Robinson hurts because he's a versatile corner who can play both inside and outside. However, the Cowboys seemed to have found their next cornerback target in Brandon Boykin. CowboysHQ's Jordan Ross reported that Boykin's agency had followed the Cowboys on Twitter.
The difference between Boykin and Robinson is real simple. While Robinson has positional and role flexibility, Boykin is pretty much a designated slot cornerback. But paired with Orlando Scandrick, the Cowboys would have two nice inside cornerbacks to gameplan against opposing passing attacks.
Which players can we expect to hear a lot of in the coming weeks?
With the needs on their roster, there are about five players that come to mind when thinking of the Cowboys' first-round draft pick. Those players are Bosa, Elliott, Wentz, Ramsey, and Paxton Lynch. If the Cowboys feel comfortable enough with their defensive backs and their running backs, Elliott and Ramsey won't be options in Round 1. But the more I look at it, the more Bosa could be the primary target and possibly a trade-back for Lynch.
If it were up to me, Ramsey would be the guy, but there's a chance we will hear management say "Ramsey was never even an option" in the coming months as the Florida State product could be off the board before the Cowboys even are on the clock. Because of their activeness with Bosa, I'd have to imagine that he's the top player on their list as of now. And given what they did to address the defensive end hole in free agency, it does make sense that he's their guy.