There truly never seems to be a dull day for the Dallas Cowboys. That is something that comes with being America's Team. In an offseason where the team decided to part ways with Greg Hardy despite their biggest hole on the roster being defensive end, drafting Ezekiel Elliott in the first round, and finally adding Tony Romo's possible successor, the Cowboys were no stranger to national news and a ton of media attention.
And despite all of the glamor and hype, the Cowboys acquired talent this offseason that will be able to contribute from the get-go. Guys like Elliott, Charles Tapper, Maliek Collins, and Cedric Thornton are all going to be called upon to come up big in the 2016 season. However, the decisions the Cowboys made this offseason could play a role in how the Cowboys go about what they will do with their roster for this upcoming season. These players could very well be affected by the offseason moves the Cowboys made.
This one was obvious. With the addition in free agency in Alfred Morris and the drafting of Elliott, things are going to look different for McFadden and his role in the offense in 2016. Dallas tailored their offense in 2015 to adjust to his strengths, but by bringing in backs that fit what the Cowboys want to run in Elliott and Morris, McFadden may struggle to crack carries with consistency in 2016.
I'm a little perplexed as to what Whitehead's involvement in the offense will be in 2016. It felt this past season that the gadget plays they were giving Whitehead were just to provide a spark to awful offensive unit. With more weapons in 2016 and more mouths to feed, Whitehead could see less time on the field. However, he's still the team's most capable return-man so there is no reason why the Cowboys should give up on him just yet.
It's starting to feel like McClain is only going to be a temporary member of the Cowboys, as in just a player to bridge the gap for a year before the youngsters learn and develop and eventually take over the starting role. Behind McClain are three players the Cowboys have drafted in the past two years in Jaylon Smith, Damien Wilson, and Mark Nzeocha. McClain is good when he wants to be, but playing on just a one-year deal, McClain looks to be on his way out. His involvement on the team has the look of a lame-duck figure.
There weren't many bright spots in the 2015 season for the Cowboys, but Mitchell was one of them. As an undersized cornerback, Mitchell is truly limited to playing inside, but he was quite impressive in an extended role. Dallas was really high on Anthony Brown, giving him a fourth-round grade despite drafting him in the sixth round. Brown has the potential to take over Brandon Carr's starting role once he fully develops. Brown will need NFL seasoning to get to his full potential and that could eat into Mitchell's playing time.
Possibly the biggest loser on the defense this past offseason was Wilcox. With Byron Jones transitioning to the free safety position, the Cowboys' next decision in the safety group will be who will play next to Jones. Rookie Kavon Frazier could be in the mix, but it will come down to Wilcox and Barry Church. But because Church has a stronger resume, given his experience and reliability with the team, Wilcox may not be a starter in the last year of his rookie contract in 2016.