It is officially time for offseason construction for the Dallas Cowboys. The next couple of weeks will be busy times as Mike McCarthy continues to fill out as his staff and the group prepares for the Senior Bowl in Mobile, but before you know it the NFL Combine will be here and after that free agency.
Between now and then, a few other checkpoints on the NFL calendar have to be crossed, things like the remaining playoff games this season. There are seven games left counting all four division round contests, the two title games, and, of course, Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
When it comes to this weekend’s playoff game the Cowboys might not be involved, but we can certainly pay attention for potential future members of the franchise. Each of these eight teams will have free agents in a few months and there are some that Dallas could go after.
Here are five options.
1 - D.J. Reader, Defensive Tackle, Houston Texans
We don’t know what the issue at defensive tackle is going to be for the Cowboys, but we know that they have a lot of questions.
Trysten Hill should conceivably be better in year two, but that idea requires a lot of optimism. Maliek Collins is set to be a free agent and Antwaun Woods is a restricted free agent so he can be kept if the team truly wants.
D.J. Reader presents an option, he plays in Houston’s 3-4 defense, for the Cowboys to consider. They went to the Texans pool of defensive tackles last season by bringing in Christian Covington, who’s to say they don’t do it two years in a row?
2 - Sheldon Day, Defensive Tackle, San Francisco 49ers
If you haven’t caught on by now, defensive tackle is going to be a position that we discuss a lot over the coming months. The Cowboys have to figure out a solution there but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a long-term one (this is the Cowboys after all).
Sheldon Day presents another potential “we’ll figure this out more firmly later” option as a potential free agent fit. Keep your options open, you know.
3 - Tramaine Brock, Cornerback, Tennessee Titans
Also of importance this offseason for the Cowboys is settling their secondary. It’s interesting to suggest a cornerback - one coming off of a very good game against the New England Patriots of all teams - as an option when the team has Byron Jones as an issue to figure out.
What’s more is that the Cowboys also have Anthony Brown as a soon-to-be free agent. If they ultimately do decide to try and restart a bit, Brock is a name very much worth knowing.
4 - Jarran Reed, Defensive Tackle, Seattle Seahawks
Reed ranked behind the likes of Maliek Collins (and even Sheldon Day) when it comes to how PFF graded defensive tackles this past season, but he’s still an option. Again considering that this is the Dallas Cowboys and that we’re talking about defensive tackles... all options are good options.
It cannot be stressed enough that the way the Cowboys have done things, a lot of things, in the past is sort of out the window with a new coaching regime. While Will McClay and Co. will ultimately be responsible for outfitting the team, it makes sense that there would be some Mike McCarthy influence. Perhaps he prefers defensive tackles more than Jason Garrett.
The more you know.
5 - Dan Bailey, Kicker, Minnesota Minnesota Vikings
I know, I know, but you can’t say that it’s impossible, can you?
Dallas infamously parted ways with Dan Bailey almost two years ago, and while he had a down season in his first away from the team, he has rebounded quite nicely for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Cowboys obviously had issues at kicker throughout last season and while it’s possible that Kai Forbath is the hero that they need long-term, who’s to say that they don’t go back to the well that they drank from for so long?
Never say never.