clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys news: What moves must the Cowboys make to improve in 2018?

Lots of opinions on what moves need to be made and which are most important.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Five moves each NFC team should make in 2018 NFL offseason for trades, free agency, cuts - Bill Barnwell
What does Bill Barnwell have in store for the Cowboys? Here are his moves the Cowboys must make.

5. Pick up Byron Jones’ fifth-year option and pick a place for him to play. This season was a step backward for the former first-round pick. Jones’ versatility should be an asset, but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli seemed to get frustrated with Jones’ lack of consistency and eventually started taking him out of the lineup for 2016 sixth-rounder Kavon Frazier, who carved out a bigger role with some big hits as an in-the-box strong safety.

Jones was expected to be a project coming out of UConn, but Dallas hasn’t helped his development by moving him from cornerback to safety. It seems pretty clear that Jones isn’t a strong safety. He should have the athleticism to play center field as a free safety, but the Cowboys don’t appear to love Jones in that role.

The Cowboys' biggest flaws last season and how to fix them-Kevin Sherrington- SportsDay
Kevin Sherrington gives his opinions on what the Dallas Cowboys have to do to improve the team in 2018.

On offense, they couldn’t generate any explosive plays. Receivers all regressed. Was that because of the system? Could be. It’s awfully simple. The idea has always been to execute so well, it doesn’t matter what the other team does in response. I don’t think that’s good enough in pro football. Better separation will help Dak on offense. As for defense, they got a lot more sacks this year, which helped immensely, but they still don’t generate a lot of turnovers. Some of that is fluky stuff, so you can’t put too much on a DB getting a ball thrown directly to him. But the idea is to turn the ball over as quickly as possible. And for that, you need playmakers. A center fielder would be very nice.

Prioritizing the Cowboys' offseason needs -VAfan- Blogging The Boys
Looking at a detailed list of moves the Cowboys should make this offseason.

9. Add a quality swing tackle

Among the backup positions, swing tackle and linebacker proved to be the most important ones last year. When Tyron Smith was out, Dallas had no answer. Dak Prescott got killed in the Atlanta game and the offense never fully recovered. This will most likely be solved in free agency, because you can’t spend a high pick here, and you can’t rely on a low-round pick to be able to step in as a rookie.

Free agents the Cowboys need to keep: Can Dallas find a way for David Irving to stay? -David Moore SportsDay
Perhaps the bigger question is which Cowboys free agents will they be able to keep in Dallas?

The club can place the lowest tender on Irving -- it was $1.79 million last season -- to retain the right to match any offer he receives or go with a second-round tender -- cost was $2.74 million last season -- to keep him tethered to the team. While he was productive in 2017, he hasn’t enjoyed the sort of sustained success that is usually rewarded on the free agent market. Even the lowest tender represents a significant increase over the $615,000 Irving made this past season.

Possible Pick: This 4-Year Starter Flashes Playmaking Potential At Safety -Rob Phillips- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys writing staff takes an inside look at Armani Watts, the standout safety from Texas A&M.

Broaddus: There is no question the talent is there. The range and physical finish clearly show up on tape but it’s the other times where he takes a bad angle or completely whiffs that has you concerned. He’s a streaky tackler and he will struggle when he really has to close ground.

There is enough here to get you excited, but there are the questions whether he can really put everything together to be a consistent enough player down after down.

Dallas Cowboys 7-round Mock Draft 2.0: Cowboys trade back in first round, pick up a second (Mockery II) -Michael Sisemore- Blogging The Boys
In Mockery II, the Cowboys find a trading partner and pick up extra resources.

As the Cowboys are on the clock at 19, they’re staring at Isaiah Wynn, a guard prospect they really like. They also still see 1-tech DT Vita Vea there but then they receive a call from the Jaguars. The Jags pick 29th and that’s a hefty ten spots back for the Cowboys who could sit and pick a player they like.

Jacksonville wants an offensive lineman that can help them continue to improve their offensive attack. In order to get up there, they’re going to have to give up their two because a three and four won’t quite make it. Making sure they don’t drastically overpay, the Jags were able to recoup a fourth from the Cowboys.

Jags send pick 29 (640 pts) + 61 (292 pts) to Cowboys in exchange for picks 19 (875 pts) + 117 (60 pts). Total Value: Jaguars + 3 pts.

As of now, only two draftees have seniority over Cowboys' Jason Witten - Todd Archer- ESPN
There are only two players in the NFL that have been in this league longer than Jason Witten.

That speaks more to the longevity and success of those players, who have combined for 31 Pro Bowl seasons. Brady, who was drafted 199th overall in 2000, has 13. Witten has 11 and Suggs has seven. Witten and Suggs, who are 35, played in the most recent Pro Bowl as Brady, 40, prepared for Super Bowl LII. Lechler was drafted by the Raiders in 2000.

Witten’s 11th Pro Bowl appearance tied him with Bob Lilly for the most in franchise history. He is about to play in his 16th season, which would be a franchise record. Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei played 15 seasons for the Cowboys.

Dallas Cowboys: Frederick talks off-season, draft, golf -Drew Davison- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Travis Frederick doesn't expect the Cowboys to change many philosophies even though they've hired quite a few positional coaches.

“It’s always a unique time when you have another coach come in. Every time you have a coaching switch, whether you like it or not, or if it’s the same stuff or different stuff, there’s always going to be a different mindset from that coach or a little bit different teaching. … It just gives you more tools in your toolbox. The more that you learn from more people, the more options you have to go to during the game. In my dealings with coach Alexander so far, he’s open to letting us do the things that we need to do to be successful and just trying to add on and give his experience and help us. A lot of our line is very experienced, just refine some of our skills and add a few more things to our toolbox.”

Star Evaluation: Could James Hanna Be Ready To Shed Blocking-TE Label? -Nick Eatman- Dallas Cowboys
Can James Hanna finally become a bigger part of the offense an break his blocking tight end label?

What’s Been Bad:

However, he’s not getting the ball that often. Four catches during a season is definitely a small sample-size to say he can be a difference-maker. If anything, opposing defenses don’t anticipate him getting the ball much at all, and have left him open at times when the Cowboys have gone to him. If it became more of a regular thing, he might not surprise teams as much. But to be fair to Hanna, his role has never been to be a primary pass-catcher, especially with Jason Witten always ahead of him.

Dallas Cowboys: Kris Richard molded Seattle's Legion of Boom -Clarence Hill- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Kris Richard is coming to the Cowboys this season after many years with Seattle, one defensive back spoke about how great he was.

“The approach was to be aggressive,” Griffin said. “You play your game. You win your one-on-one battles and you hit. You compete and you be aggressive. You can see how aggressive we were on the back end. We go for the ball. That is the main goal, to get the ball.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys