Up next in the team needs features for the draft section are the Dallas Cowboys. THN will be filling in all of the needs’ pages throughout March, so keep checking back for your favorite (or least-favorite) team.
2005 Results: 9-7 (3rd in NFC East)
2006 Projected Cap Status: The Cowboys were slightly under the cap, before saving $6 million by cutting Glover, who was not only due a $1.5 million roster bonus on March 3rd, but scheduled to make $4.5 million in base salary in the final year of his five-year contract. He will cost the team $1.2 million against the cap for the final year of his prorated signing bonus. Larry Allen is expected to restructure his contract.
2005 Season Recap: At 7-3, the Cowboys looked like a lock to make the playoffs. However, an injury to tackle Flozell Adams caused a major disruption on both ends of the offensive line and pass protection went from above average to far below average. After starting off with success throwing the ball, Bledsoe found himself on his back more often over the final six-game stretch. On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys sported an above average pass defense, while suffering through a sub-par year in rush defense and disastrous special teams play, particularly at place-kicker.
Team Needs: 1) Offensive Tackle – Dallas may lose RFA Torrin Tucker (not that it would be that huge of a loss – but Parcells seems to like him). Expect the Cowboys to offer him at least a minimum offer. Dallas needs an upgrade at tackle, but the pool’s pretty shallow as far as quality OT free agents and second year Rob Petitti is not the answer.
2) Safety – Dallas also needs an upgrade at safety over RFA Keith Davis. Pass coverage is what they need, as Roy Williams can handle the run stopping chores.
3) Linebacker – Injuries to Nguyen (retired) and Singleton shuffled and challenged a linebacker corps that was already thin and inexperienced. Look for the Cowboys to upgrade at ILB (replacing - Ryan Fowler) through free agency or the draft.
4) Wide Receiver – Considering the ages of Johnson and Glenn, most predict Dallas to draft a wide receiver. However, look for Patrick Clayton to continue to mature and contribute.
5) Place-kicker – It was fun to watch Parcells sweat during field goal attempts last year after going through three below-average options in 2005. There will be plenty of open competition at camp.
2006 Draft Picks: 1st Round 18th pick overall
Free Agency Status: UFA – Dan Campbell TE, Marc Colombo OT, Jose Cortez K, Scott Fujita LB, Andre Gurode OG, Eric Ogbogu LB, Lynn Scott S, Anthony Thomas RB
RFA – Keith Davis S, Scott Shanle LB, Torin Tucker OT
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