Dallas Cowboys Football: 4 Offseason Moves Cowboys Should Have Made
What's wrong with being 2-1?
On the surface, 2-1 looks fine. It's good enough for first place in the NFC East, and certainly viable among a conference that contains only two remaining undefeated teams.
But for the Dallas Cowboys, this 2-1 record seems a bit precarious. A 20-point thumping at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks hasn't helped their minus seven point differential, and their five touchdowns scored on the season is good for last place in the league.
So what additional moves could the Cowboys have made this offseason to better their current position?
Here are four.
4. Found Better Help at Safety
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The Cowboys' recent history at the safety position has not been an account of happy endings.
Abram Elam, Ken Hamlin, and the recent experiment with Alan Ball have led to frustrating outcomes. 2012 looks to be more of the same.
Offseason addition Brodney Pool failed his conditioning test to open camp, and was eventually released. Barry Church earned the starting nod but was lost for the season against the Buccaneers.
Who do the Cowboys have remaining? A banged-up Gerald Sensabaugh, undrafted free-agent Mana Silva, and 24-year-old Danny McCray. McCray has been used since Week 2, and stud cornerback Brandon Carr has also filled in at times.
For now the patchwork set-up must do. But this problem could have been prevented during the offseason with a more competent signing than Pool.
3. Traded Felix Jones
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The Felix Jones' trade talks started as early as the beginning of 2012, and continue as we speak.
Granted, Jones is entering the final year of his contract. And yes, trading him earlier this year might only have returned a mid-round draft pick. But let's look at his performance.
Since failing his conditioning test to open camp, Jones has showed diminished speed, and flashed no hope of returning to his previous, more youthful incarnation.
He fumbled the opening kickoff against the Seahawks, and has amassed exactly zero yards rushing on two carries so far this season. To his credit, he's gained 68 yards via reception.
So, a mid-round draft pick? For this declining skill set? I would have been happy with Alfred Morris.
2. Shown Interest in Martellus Bennett
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Martellus Bennett was a second-round draft pick of the Dallas Cowboys who just never quite panned out like the team envisioned.
Bennett caught four touchdown passes his rookie season, and then, over the course of the following three years, he tacked on exactly zero more. That's right. Zero.
Understandably, the Cowboys showed virtually no interest in re-signing Bennett when his contract was up at the end of last season.
But they should have.
Couldn't you just see this coming? An ultra-talented, former second-round pick dying to show he could flourish with a starting job. An aging Jason Witten. You don't give up on your investment at its lowest point!
But the Cowboys did. The New York Giants bought low and are reaping the rewards. Martellus Bennett has scored a touchdown in every game this season.
The Cowboys on the other hand are stuck with a 30-year-old Jason Witten. That's a 30-year-old Jason Witten who currently leads the league in drops.
1. Helped Repair the Offensive Line
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The Dallas Cowboys have had a litany of offensive line problems in recent years.
Just ask Tony Romo's collarbone.
Yet during this offseason, with free agent (and All-Pro guard) Carl Nicks sitting on the table, the Cowboys decided that the solution to their annual offensive-line woes was to simply switch around Doug Free and Tyron Smith.
The move shifted Free to right tackle and moved Smith to the all-important left side.
Did anybody care to have a plan B?
After three weeks of the season, it's clear that the biggest impediment to the Cowboys playoff chances will be the performance of their offensive line.
Sure, the defensive lines of the Giants, Seahawks and Buccaneers are none to shabby, but the Cowboys O-Line play has been a complete train wreck.
And there's not much time to get it fixed. The Chicago Bears come to town on Monday night.