Training camp is just about here for the Dallas Cowboys. They have a ton of work to do to prepare themselves for the upcoming 2021 season and one of the top priorities is going to be to figure out who fits where. Surprisingly enough, part of that analysis may mean we see some roster turnover and some new faces added to the mix for depth and competition purposes.
Let’s take a look at some of the Cowboys remaining roster needs heading into training camp and how they could go about addressing them. They have enough salary-cap space to bring in some players and can even make a few moves here and there to increase the wiggle room.
- Quarterback - Hopefully Dak Prescott remains healthy for the entire 2021 season, but if not the Cowboys may need somebody to step in for a few games to keep them competitive. Right now that player looks to be Garrett Gilbert, who looked decent last year in his lone start against the Steelers. They could stick with him, but if the Cowboys are looking for outside help Josh McCown or Robert Griffin III should be players they kick the tires on. Either one has more starting experience than Dallas’ current backups combined.
- Center - Right now it looks like the Cowboys are putting all of their eggs in one basket with Tyler Biadasz as their starting center. That’s fine and dandy, but the depth behind him is pretty suspect. Connor McGovern looks to be the next man up, but he’s never played center in the NFL and only sparingly so in college. Dallas would be wise to invest in a more experienced backup and that could be free agent center Austin Reiter. At 29, he should be relatively expensive and has experience starting for the Chiefs the past few years. Joe Looney is also available if they want to re-sign him for the job.
- Kick/punt returner - We’re adding kick/punt returner to the Dallas Cowboys offensive needs considering both of their primary return men, CeeDee Lamb and Tony Pollard, could play a significant role on offense this season. The Cowboys would be wise to find someone to take over as their primary return man so that they don’t further risk Lamb or Pollard to injury. With that in mind, free agent Tyler Ervin should be a target as an experienced punt and kick returner. He should be relatively inexpensive and help bolster Dallas’ return game.
- Defensive End - DeMarcus Lawrence is really the only dependable defensive end currently on the Dallas Cowboys roster. The hope is Randy Gregory can move past off-the-field issues and stay healthy for the entire 2021 season, but the depth behind of those two is close to nonexistent and definitely unproven. Because of that the Cowboys might need to consider a more veteran presence as a backup who can step into a starting role if needed. Justin Houston would fit that role perfectly. He may be on the wrong side of 30, but he still has plenty of gas left in the tank to help bolster Dallas’ pass rush.
- Defensive Tackle (3-tech) - The Cowboys prioritized adding more depth to the defensive tackle position in the offseason signing two free agents and using two draft picks on the position in the 2021 NFL Draft. They still could use another veteran at 3-technique/under tackle for the upcoming season. Neville Gallimore is probably favored to win the job with Trysten Hill competing, but signing a free agent like Geno Atkins would no doubt solve the problem. He may not come as cheaply as some of the others already mentioned, but he’d definitely make more of an impact.
- Free Safety - The Cowboys signed Damontae Kazee to replace Xavier Woods as their starting free safety this year. He’ll more than likely upgrade the position, but the scary thing is he’s trying to bounce back from a season-ending injury and even worse the depth behind him is nowhere to be found. Jourdan Lewis may be a factor here, but even if he is the Cowboys should be smart and find someone with experience who can step in if needed. That player could be Tre Boston. He is a true FS and has proven himself time and time again even though he’s bounced around from team to team the past few years.