One of the biggest missing pieces to the Dallas Cowboys championship puzzle is an elite edge rusher. The 2017 offseason is the time to change that.
This is part of an off-season blog series that will discuss the positions of need for the Dallas Cowboys that are likely to be addressed in the draft and free agency. Part 1 is focused on the Cowboys biggest need- defensive end.
I know that the Super Bowl is this upcoming Sunday, so the season technically isn’t over. But for the Cowboys and 29 other teams, their season is wrapped up and 2017 is going to be arriving soon.
I am already attacking game film on players that are entering the draft this year, and I started with the biggest position of need for the Cowboys.
Not only do the Cowboys need an upgrade at the defensive end position- they need defensive ends in general. There are currently only two full-time defensive ends under contract that played snaps for the Cowboys in 2016. Well, three if you count Randy Gregory, who is going to be suspended for all of 2017 so you’d be crazy to count on him.
Dallas showed the ability to put pressure on quarterbacks at times in 2016, but never had one elite edge rusher that changed games for them. Benson Mayowa led the team with an anemic 6.0 sacks. There are some players around the league that can get six sacks in a game.
In the early 90’s, the Dallas Cowboys had young superstars in quarterback Troy Aikman, running back Emmitt Smith, and wide receiver Michael Irvin. The supporting cast offensively was phenomenal and the offensive line played at an elite level.
But there was one defensive player and piece that took the triplets from young superstars with potential and turned them as well as the rest of the Dallas Cowboys into Super Bowl champions and a dynasty. His name?
Charles Haley. It was making the move for Charles Haley and having that consistent edge rusher, capable of taking over games and destroying opposing game plans, that was the final move that made the Cowboys of the 90’s one of the greatest football teams ever assembled.
The 2017 Cowboys are going to have opportunities to make a similar move- whether it be by making a move to land an established veteran or by addressing the position in the draft and finding an impact rusher in the first few rounds.
What I am going to include in these “position of need” articles are: players still under contract with the team at that position, players that are going to be free agents that were on the Dallas roster in 2016, free agents around the league that can fill the need, as well as players at that position of need that should be available at different points in the draft.
I figured that these pieces would be a great way to get the ball rolling on talking about the draft, which I will be writing extensively articles regarding position rankings as well as Cowboys mock drafts, so please stay tuned.
The final page of this article has a list of players that really stood out to me when evaluating this year’s draft class. Enjoy.