This is a critical juncture for head coach Jason Garrett, who could find himself like one of the seven coaches this year on "Black Monday" if his team doesn't produce better than .500 results.
Here are some free agents that the Cowboys should consider adding to the roster for 2013.
Brought in on a one-year franchise tag, Anthony Spencer has played himself into an extremely lucrative contract. Although Spencer totaled 11 sacks on the year (second on the team behind DeMarcus Ware), seven of Spencer's 11 sacks came in the fourth quarter, bringing light to his big-play ability.
Once known as "Almost Anthony," Spencer has turned a corner, and the Cowboys know that seeing Spencer go to another team would leave yet another huge hole on defense.
A current backup for Spencer is Victor Butler, who has shown some promise with his pass-rush ability but struggles against the run. Another backup is 2012 fourth-round draft pick Kyle Wilbur. A broken finger set him back, and although he shows promise, it is just that—promise, not proven production.
With unproven backup players, Spencer is a must sign for the Dallas Cowboys.
Don't expect a home-town discount; this contract is going to be expensive.
Jason Garret needs more options in his seemingly stale playbook. Danny Woodhead could be just what he needs. A running back by title, Woodhead is a jack of all trades—although a master of none.
Woodhead can take a handoff, catch a pitch, catch passes out of the backfield and line up in the slot. Woodhead creates the most mismatches in the passing game, as his small stature and quickness will create nightmares for opposing defenses.
With the departure of Felix Jones, the Cowboys needs a change-of-pace back. With the versatility of Woodhead, the Cowboys might even be in better shape than they were with the former Razorback.
A former backup running back for Mack Brown and the University of Texas, Melton has put on 50-something pounds and is one of the young, up-and-coming defensive stars of the game.
Jay Ratliff could be a casualty of disagreement with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and the Cowboys will look to fill that spot—or better yet, create a rotation.
The latter is highly unlikely considering that Anthony Spencer's contract is going to be through the roof of Cowboys Stadium,
Melton uses quickness to create massive chaos and disruption at the line of scrimmage. He currently works in a 4-3 defensive but could fill the role that Rob Ryan loves out of his defensive linemen.
The Bears aren't likely to let Melton go, but if he hits the market, expect Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr to wine and dine Melton in Cowboys Stadium.
Who wouldn't want a better pass rush up front?