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With Dak Prescott’s likely contract number, the Cowboys rebuilt defense should come through the draft

Is it better to look in free agency or build through the draft?

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys offseason is going to be a very interesting one for many reasons. Will Dak Prescott and the Cowboys be able to come to terms on a new contract? How will Dan Quinn's hiring impact the atrocious defense? And how will the COVID salary cap alter their ability to retain and sign new talent?

In truth, all three are connected. The first domino that needs to drop is the NFL releasing the 2021 salary cap number. From there the Cowboys can find a contract number for Prescott. Then Quinn will know what's left over to possibly bring in players for his scheme. But, what if the Cowboys end up cash strapped after the potential Prescott deal?

They could kick the can down the road and restructure contracts like years past, or they could just decide to build with young talent through the draft. Kicking the can has come back to bite this team in the past so the best possible situation is to build with young talent through the draft. It's worked for teams in the past so why not the Cowboys?

There is always talent to be found in the draft, and with the Cowboys having the 10th pick, they are in a great position to fill holes with quality players or developmental players later in the draft that can contribute down the line. Right now, the Cowboys have pressing needs at defensive tackle, safety, cornerback. They also have a need at linebacker but that's not as serious given how well Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith played previously in a similar defense to the new one being employed.

The Cowboys rarely pick this high so they can't squander this opportunity. Then once the draft is over they can dip back into the free agency pool and sign a few stop-gap veterans to help the younger players along while giving them playmakers on the field. If you're wondering how they would be able to find players like that, just remember the Cowboys aren't the only team that will be waiting. Many other teams are going to want to focus on the draft with no in-person on-the-field workouts at the combine this season.

That has to be the plan: first draft, then free agency.

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