Every season there’s always interesting Cowboys questions to be answered like: Tony Dorsett or Emmitt Smith, the 92′ or 93′ team, and Tom Landry or Jimmy Johnson? Don’t worry, the LWOS Dallas Cowboys Crew (three writers/five questions) has got you covered!
Dallas Cowboys Huddle: Deal or No Deal
Who is the most important free agent the Cowboys need to retain?
Joe Garcia, LWOS NFL Writer: Terrance Williams. How many times do we have to see him make clutch catches in order for us to finally realize he’s most needed back – Lions playoff game winner, Washington toe line catch, etc., etc. If we learned anything from this past Super Bowl, you have to be good (Tom Brady) and you have to be lucky (Julian Edelman‘s catch)… you can win the Super Bowl with Williams.
Stephen Ur III, LWOS NFL Editor: Barry Church. Of all the free agents, Church should be the most important one. Church was a big contributor to the team in 2016, recording 85 tackles and two interceptions. Clearly, he would be a big part of stopping the run and possibly bringing pressure.
Mark Profound Evans, LWOS Dallas Cowboys Beat Writer: Ronald Leary. You may find this answer humorous, but Dallas needs to find a way to keep Ronald Leary, because he’s still relatively young and proven to be durable. Also, he understands the team’s offensive scheme and could enable La’el Collins to move over to the right tackle spot. It’s no surprise the offensive line didn’t miss a beat when he was re-inserted into the starting lineup. Leary’s a smart bulldozer with a strong understanding of leverage. In my opinion, he was snubbed as a Pro Bowler.
Who should the Cowboys go after in free agency?
Garcia: Darryl Morris. $12.4 million over the cap with both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne as cap casualties, which means someone with a veteran minimum salary but with at least an upgraded skill (interception or coverage) would be ideal. Darryl Morris, on a veteran minimum could possibly work.
Ur: Stephon Gilmore. Gilmore of the Buffalo Bills looks like he could be a good fit, after he recorded five interceptions in 2016. That’s more than half of what Dallas recorded as a team all season (nine). If Dallas wants to get back to the post-season, they will need their defense to do as well as they did last season. Getting Gilmore in free agency would help with that.
Evans: The Cowboys should go all-in for safety Eric Berry. Bringing the play-maker to town could allow the team to move Byron Jones to cornerback full-time and allow them a chance to find another defensive playmaker in the draft. With the money the team could free up by not re-signing cornerbacks Claiborne and Carr, the Cowboys would have plenty to attract Berry.
Who should the Cowboys (realistically) draft?
Garcia: I love Jabrill Peppers, as he looks like the next Troy Polamalu (minus the hair and Head and Shoulders Commercials). While he would definitely fill a void, I don’t think he falls this far. It’s shaping up to be either Carl Lawson or Derek Barnett. Lawson looks better though.
Ur: Chris Wormley. Looking at the defensive ends in the draft, one that could fall to 28 could be Chris Wormley out of Michigan. Wormley can be used as both a defensive tackle and defensive end, having recorded 40 tackles (nine for a loss) and six sacks in 2016. Dallas could use a player like him on their defensive line.
Evans: Obi Melifonwu. If the Cowboys are able to lure Eric Berry, it would make sense for them to continue to tighten up their back-end by taking a playmaking strong safety with the 28th pick. It’s possible that a couple of outstanding young players will be available in the spot. 6’4” 219 pound safety Obi Melifonwu from the University of Connecticut could be a special addition. Yes, he does need to be developed a little bit, but with a veteran back there to help groom him and his 4.5 speed, the youngster could give the defense the punch it needs in the secondary.
What should the Cowboys do with Tony Romo?
Garcia: Trade. I think he’s being traded to either Denver ($38.4 million in cap space), Houston ($25.7 million cap), or maybe even Kansas City for somewhere between a second to fourth rounder. Denver’s great but in a tough division, and that’s why I see him with Houston in one of the weakest divisions on his easiest path to the Super Bowl next year.
Ur: Keep. The Cowboys should keep Tony Romo. As horrid as he may be in December and January, the next backup should Dak Prescott get injured is Mark Sanchez. No matter how well Dallas starts, playing Sanchez would mean a bad finish to the season.
Evans: I suggest the Cowboys give him every opportunity to stay with the team. If he decides he can’t fathom the thought of returning as the backup quarterback, they should try to move him. If that doesn’t work, they’ll have no choice but to cut him. It’s sad to say, but Romo has never been anything more than a Band-Aid with an arm. If he sees himself as more, it’s because of the love the Cowboys have shown him throughout his nine full seasons as the starter. But what has he really done for the Cowboys? I’d say he hasn’t done much.
Should the Cowboys keep or let go of Jason Garrett?
Garcia: Jason Garrett‘s record in big games:
- 2016 Divisional Playoff – lost to Green Bay Packers
- 2014 Wildcard Playoff – Beat the Detroit Lions because of a botched call
- 2014 Divisional Playoff – lost to Green Bay
- 2013 Division/Playoff spot on the line – lost to the Philadelphia Eagles
- 2012 Division/Playoff spot on the line – lost to Washington
- 2011 Division/Playoff spot on the line – loss to the New York Giants
Garrett loses just about all of his big games. That’s not good! Also he had three straight 8-8 seasons. Definitely not good. When he has a good team he performs well, and when he has a mediocre team he struggles. So he doesn’t make his team better, and he needs talent to win… let go of him. There is another coach sitting there for them at the University of Michigan.
Ur: No. He couldn’t win with several quarterbacks leading this team nor a great rushing season from Darren McFadden in 2016. The reason the Cowboys finished 13-3 was because of the rookie duo of Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott.
Evans: Keep. Jason Garrett started his head-coaching career with another regime’s players and went 5-3 as the interim head coach over the final eight games. Now he’s finally starting to build his own team and he has led the Cowboys to two division titles and a playoff victory over the past three seasons. On top of that, he’s earned two Coach of the Year awards. Garrett understands the heat of the spotlight that shines on the storied franchise. I’d say he’s the perfect guy to lead America’s Team back to the top.