The next few months are either going to dramatically boost the chances that the Dallas Cowboys will win their sixth Lombardi Trophy or do very little to move the needle towards that goal. No pressure!
With the way that this past season went there are a number of things necessary for Dallas to get back into legitimate contention with the rest of the NFL. Fortunately for them they have a top 10 pick to work with, but they also have a franchise quarterback to take care of.
Decisions will be made in the coming months that will have a lasting impact on the club. There are things that we all want to see done, but such is the case every year and we are often left disappointed at the altar.
You can set your watch by a few ideas as far as the Cowboys are concerned. We can try to will a number of things into existence as much as possible, but ultimately they are still going to do things their way.
What are some of those things?
Dak Prescott will be franchise tagged
The deadline for NFL teams to apply the franchise tag this year is March 9th. Tagging a player doesn’t guarantee that they will be playing on it as any tagged player will have until July 15th to work out a long-term deal with their team, but any tag must be placed by the ninth day in March.
We are about three weeks away from March 9th which means that there are almost less than 20 days between now and the Dallas Cowboys having to blink just a little bit. Tagging Dak Prescott is something that the team will obviously do in a worst case scenario so that they do not lose him, but again, it wouldn’t really change any of the already-frustrating conversation.
It is obviously possible that the Cowboys and Prescott will agree to a deal before then, but they have had over two years to do so at this point. What would make the next couple of weeks suddenly get the ball across the goal line that over 700 days was unable to do?
The Cowboys won’t prioritize the safety position... again
A baked in prediction here is that the Cowboys won’t re-sign safety Xavier Woods. While there were some fun times with Woods there is no question that the team needs to improve.
Woods is relevant here though because one offseason worries for the Cowboys is that they are going to lean on the solid play that Donovan Wilson showed throughout the 2020 campaign as a reason to not go after a safety in the offseason. That would be a mistake.
Justin Simmons is the top free agent safety on the market, although his agent is one that the Cowboys don’t exactly have a great recent track record with, but even if it isn’t him the Cowboys need to find a way to bring in some juice towards the back end of their secondary.
They obviously lost the Super Bowl, but the Kansas City Chiefs have a safety tandem in Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill that Cowboys fans are rather jealous of. Both Mathieu and Thornhill were dream acquisitions by many BTBers only to be met with no real action by the organization.
Put simply, the time has come for Dallas to stop trying to just “figure it out” at safety (and defensive tackle for that matter). As true as this has been for the last decade, unfortunately the front office will likely stay the course they’ve been on for far too long.
Ndamukong Suh will be connected to the Cowboys
As noted the Dallas Cowboys have refused to address the defensive tackle position for some time.
To be clear, we’re talking about seriously addressing the position. An offseason ago the Cowboys did sign Gerald McCoy in free agency, but outside of that they signed Dontari Poe (which did not work out to say the least) and drafted Neville Gallimore. They also wound up returning Antwaun Woods.
With all due respect to Gerald McCoy, it was incredibly predictable that the Cowboys would go after someone who’s better years were behind him. McCoy was coming off of a one-year tenure with the Carolina Panthers after his great run with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Interestingly the Bucs “replaced” McCoy with Ndamukong Suh in 2019. That same offseason Suh shared a photo of himself wearing both a New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys jersey which had a lot of people wondering... plus he had been sort of linked to Dallas a year prior.
Suh is set to be a free agent this offseason after having just won the Super Bowl with Tampa Bay. He is a big name and the Cowboys are, well, the Cowboys, which means they are undoubtedly going to be linked in some capacity.