As the Dallas Cowboys season abruptly came to an end over the weekend, the front office begins their time in the limelight. In a season where the Cowboys set many franchise records and sent five players to the All Pro team, this off season will be critically important. Think of it as the frame following a strike when you are bowling – the team must keep up the momentum and capitalize on their prior successes to ensure even greater gains next season.
After reviewing the wins, losses and critical failures this season, it is clear that this offense is set up for long-term success behind a pair of rookies and the best offensive line in football. Defensively, there is a dichotomy - either we have stars such as Sean Lee and Byron Jones (it was NOT his fault) or we have holes with Damien Wilson, Tyrone Crawford or Demarcus Lawrence. The tricky thing that the front office will face is the wide open secondary with free agents Barry Church, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr hitting the market. The secondary will retain Byron Jones, Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown but the defensive line will almost certainly be a focal point this off-season.
Dontari Poe, DT
Dontari Poe is a giant. At 28 years old, he comes at 6’ 3’’ and packs a cool 346 pounds to his agile core. The Dallas Cowboys should make signing 2-time Pro Bowler Dontari Poe away from the Chiefs their number one goal this offseason. The Chiefs will inevitably (and rightfully) make Eric Berry their number one priority this offseason which could allow the Cowboys to swoop in. He is one of the top interior defensive lineman in the league and will give Rod Marinelli another force to pair with Maliek Collins for years to come. Making this addition could also allow Marinelli to get creative and possibly move David Irving to a starter at defensive end.
AJ Bouye, CB
AJ Bouye was born in Dallas, TX and the Dallas Cowboys would love to bring him back to the Big D. As they plan to possibly lose cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr this offseason, AJ Bouye will provide a great option against a series of high potent receivers in the NFC. He led the Texans this season in passes defensed and interceptions, and even tallied two more interceptions in the playoffs this season.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE
The former Super Bowl champion and two-time Pro Bowler has wrecked havoc on the Dallas Cowboys since 2010. If it was not for an unfortunate accident in the summer of 2015, he would almost have certainly received an enormous contract from the New York Giants. As the Cowboys look for pass rushers, an area where they have lacked over the years, adding JPP would be a big plus. Additionally, depleting the Giants will bode well for Dallas and give JPP some extra motivation at least two times per season.
Calais Campbell, DE
Before you get riled up that Calais Campbell is turning 31 this year, look at what Dwight Freeney (Falcons) and Julius Peppers (Packers) have done this season. Calais Campbell was named to the 2nd All-Pro team this year and he would provide experience, depth and versatility to the defensive line. Most importantly, his addition would serve as a catalyst for Dallas to walk away from Randy Gregory all together.
Pierre Garcon, WR
With the possible departure of Terrence Williams as he chases greener pastures, the Dallas Cowboys would benefit from adding Pierre Garcon to their potent offense. He provides a toughness and durability which the Cowboys current receiving core has lacked at times. Additionally, adding him will make a division rival weaker which will be beneficial as the Redskins are also fearful that they might lose DeSean Jackson to the Eagles.