As much as it truly stinks that the football season is over after this weekend, the NFL has done a pretty nice job at keeping the interest in the offseason continuously flowing. For the diehards, we hang on every move of the offseason. The Senior Bowl has come and gone and now it’s onto the Combine and then free agency and the draft will follow.
It’s hard to predict what will happen to 32 football teams in the course of one offseason but thankfully we here at BTB only care about one. Why not make this offseason start off with a little fun and see if we can predict what the Cowboys will do this offseason? We’ll try the best impersonation of the great Nostradamus within this column and leave the comment section up to you to get your best guesses how this whole thing will shake out. Here are five offseason predictions for the Dallas Cowboys:
5. Cowboys Will Bring Back Five Of Their Own Free Agents On Team-Friendly Deals
With 18 free agents, you might be thinking this is a cop-out prediction. Well, how about we name the guys then. Dallas will get the following five guys under contract on cost-effective deals:
-Terrance Williams, WR - Some may be thinking that he’s going to get big money outside of the confines of North Texas. Williams is going to re-sign with the Cowboys because he wants to stay in Dallas. Yep, Terrance wants to continue the fight.
-Brandon Carr, CB - All this potential retirement talk is just that; talk. Carr is going to re-join his brethren on a two-year extension that will be a hometown discount. His market is likely not to be high and he’ll opt to stay with the team he loves.
-Barry Church, SS - Church will have other offers but will choose to remain with the Dallas Cowboys and return as a leader in the locker room.
-Terrell McClain, DT - McClain realizes that his potential to rise as a late-blooming NFL star is best served under Rod Marinelli. He signs a three-year extension similar to what Cedric Thornton got the last offseason.
-Mark Sanchez, QB - Much to the chagrin of some fans out there, the Cowboys decide to keep the old’ butt fumbler on the roster as Kellen Moore moves into an assistant coach role. Sanchez has a great relationship with Dak and wants to stay with this coaching staff.
4. Cowboys Will Aggressively Pursue An Edge Rusher In Free Agency
This team doesn’t like to spend money in free agency very often because it’s such a crapshoot to know exactly what you’re getting. However, this team has shown in certain cases they will make a push for someone they truly believe can help the team be better. Both Stephen Jones and Will McClay know that a solid signing could pay dividends.
They tried that with Greg Hardy but he stood in his own way of continuing his NFL career. This offseason, the Cowboys will take advantage of an over-saturated market. With the draft producing young, fresh, pass rushers; there will be one veteran that slips through the cracks and the Cowboys will pounce on a guy that can make them immediately better.
The combination of skill, pedigree, and youth will be considered but Dallas is going to get someone on a short-term deal much like they tried with Hardy. Who knows if that’ll be Jason Pierre-Paul quality or a rotational guy like Mario Addison, but a fresh pass-rushing veteran face will wear the star in 2017.
3. Cowboys Will Draft A Tight End In One Of The First Three Rounds
Talking about drafting tight ends is quite a sore subject in these parts as we’ve seen this team fail time and time again. They’ve been trying to get a quality tight end on the roster since they drafted the future Hall-of-Famer Jason Witten. Whether it’s been Anthony Fasano, Martellus Bennett, or Gavin Escobar; Dallas has struggled in this department.
Lost in the discussion of edge rushers and cornerbacks, this draft offers up a plethora of quality tight ends for the taking. Dallas is one of those teams that truly values the position and will even run tight end screens whether it’s successful or not. They love tight ends and what they can potentially be in their system. They’ve done well with Witten, who will go down as one of the best to ever do it.
Even though Big Wit is going to come back for another year, they know that his time in the NFL is winding down and that a successor must be found. Whether it’s a shocker in O.J. Howard in the first round or Jake Butt in the third, the Dallas Cowboys will be taking a tight end high in this draft, you better believe it.
2. Cowboys Will Be The Most Active Trade-Talkers Come Draft Day.
As aforementioned, there is some tremendous depth at positions like edge rusher and cornerback in this year’s draft class. That means there will be a great chance that your Dallas Cowboys are going to try and stockpile picks in the mid rounds. Anyone who has watched the War Room camera on the team website has noticed that someone is almost always on the phone.
Dallas loves to entertain the idea of making trades and getting more value. Nothing is more valuable to ball clubs than draft picks. The Cowboys most certainly believe this to be true as it has been their most trusted way of improving the team. On draft day, you’re going to see more phone action than you probably can deal with. This very well could be a year where the Cowboys trade out of the first round entirely if it’s worth their while.
Now, some people get nervous about that including Jerry Jones who is not keen on going empty-handed on day one. What if the value is too great? Maybe a team picking at the top of the second round needs to hop back in and there are still multiple guys Dallas likes. That’s not inconceivable when you’re picking at 28. You’re more than likely looking at second-round talents anyway at that point. Then again, maybe the Cowboys stand pat in the first but wheel and deal from then on. Either way, this organization will walk out of the draft with more picks than they came in with.
1. Tony Romo Will Be On The Cowboys’ Roster To Start Training Camp
There is so much speculation of where the four-time Pro Bowler will be playing next season. Speculation is just speculation but you have to gauge what the market is going to be for Romo and it’s not going to be big. Most teams know that Romo is set to make $14 million in 2017 and that if the Cowboys cut him outright they’ll have $19.6 million in dead money.
They can certainly choose to take that hit over two seasons by designating him a post-June 1 cut which would hurt less all at once but in the end; you’re paying it regardless. Tony Romo is still very valuable to this team and nobody at this point knows that more than Jerry Jones. Jerry will examine all the facts and when he’s done, it’s not out of the realm of possibility Romo stays in Dallas - at least for a while.
This can happen a few ways; has anyone considered that Tony Romo may look at his options and decide that it’s better to stay? Maybe we’re underestimating the team’s ability to work something out and keep him? What it comes down to in the long run is that the Cowboys’ value Romo and will not let him go for just anything. There will not be a team that is able to strike a deal before the draft that will suffice what the Cowboys want. In essence, we’re not saying he remains on the team for the whole year. With that said, when the Dallas Cowboys depart for Oxnard, California; Tony Romo will be on that plane with them.