6 Offseason Moves the Cowboys Need to Make to Win Their Sixth Super Bowl
The Dallas Cowboys have been stuck at five Super Bowl championships since the mid-90s. The window of opportunity for a sixth trophy is closing and they need to make smart decisions this off-season in order to break through and obtain their ultimate goal.
Most fans will tell you how their team is only one move away from being a contender, but we all know how incorrect that is. Some teams feel they're just a quarterback away from the title game, and some tell you that they're one playmaker away on defense. But the Cowboys have a few holes to fill that no one move would resolve.
Place the Franchise Tag on Anthony Spencer
Anthony Spencer is a five-year player who hasn’t panned out opposite of DeMarcus Ware. Many hoped that he’d be able to take advantage of the double-teams that Ware sees, and be able to win one-on-one battles.
Unfortunately, Spencer has only recorded 21.5 sacks thus far.
So why tag the former Purdue linebacker?
The toughest part about making this decision is wondering if the team can possibly get an upgrade. The only notable pass rusher in free agency is Mario Williams, and the Cowboys most likely won’t draft a pass rusher with their first-round draft pick.
With that being said, they must keep Spencer for at least one more year until a better option presents itself.
It’ll cost $8.8 million, but I’d rather overpay a player of his talent than replace him with another player who won’t produce like he does.
Release Terence Newman
A move that should’ve been done last season, cutting Terence Newman will free up $6 million in cap space for this season.
Newman signed a six-year deal in 2008, a year after making his first Pro Bowl. He has plenty of highlights for the ‘Boys, but in recent years he seems to have lost a step.
Newman turns 34 this year and can no longer justify his contract. With the Cowboys resigning Orlando Scandrick and having plenty of confidence in Mike Jenkins, Newman is the odd-man out.
Sign Carl Nicks
The Cowboys started surging mid-way through the season mainly due to their ability to run the ball up the middle. Upgrading a guard position will only help maintain that in the long run.
Analyst will argue that New Orleans’ guard, Carl Nicks is the best guard in the NFL. The Saints have a dilemma with their free agents this year. They must decide who to franchise and/or resign as players like Drew Brees, Marques Colston, and Tracy Porter just to name a few.
Nicks seems to be on his way out since the Saints already signed their other guard, Jahri Evans to a large deal as well.
Nicks will want more than his buddy Evans received in 2010, which was a seven-year deal for $56.7 million.
Nicks will be costly, but you have to pay that in order to get his caliber of a player. Putting him at either guard spot will help Tony Romo stay upright as well as lead the way for a great running season.
Sign a Veteran Backup Quarterback
No, I’m not saying sign Peyton Manning to replace number nine, but we do need a good backup just in case.
Jon Kitna proved his worth before he retired after last season. He stepped in for nine games in 2010, winning four of them. Keep in mind, these Cowboys were 6-10 on the year, and Kitna won more games than Romo.
Romo has missed 13 games in the past four seasons, ten due to the broken collarbone and three in 2008.
Although he’s tough and durable, the Cowboys can’t bank on that and hope he never gets hurt or has to sit out.
Quarterbacks like Jason Campbell and Kyle Orton have proven that they can win games in the NFL. Although no team dreams about them starting 16 games, having them step up when needed is all the Cowboys would need.
Move Tyron Smith to Left Tackle
Although Doug Free is the 12th best left tackle in the NFL, Tyron Smith quickly proved his worth last season.
We’ll see where Smith ranks amongst the best right tackles on the first of March, but I’m willing to bet his overall will be better than Free.
Free had problems with speed pass rushes last season, not being able to get wide enough to prevent players like Osi Umenyiora from getting to the quarterback.
Meanwhile, Smith has been considered the best lineman selected in the 2011 draft and improved on every game.
If the Cowboys can sign guard Carl Nicks and place him on the left with Smith, it could be a duo that would be comparable to former Cowboys Larry Allen and Flozell Adams.
Draft Janoris Jenkins
The North Alabama (and former Florida Gator) cornerback is the second-best corner available in the draft behind Dre Kirkpatrick.
Kirkpatrick most likely won’t be available at the 14th pick and the Cowboys will have no problems letting Janoris Jenkins fall to them. His off-field issues with marijuana may scare other teams away, but the Cowboys don’t have a problem drafting such players (See: Dez Bryant).
Jenkins would add youth and speed to replace Terence Newman’s lack of both.
Some will argue that Jenkins is better than Kirkpatrick, but you can’t lose if you pick one over the other. It’s a win-win no matter which you decide on.
And for America’s Team, they need so much help in the secondary that Jenkins is bound to be an upgrade no matter where he plays.