Dallas Cowboys: Remaining Offseason Priorities

Brad Gagnon NFL National ColumnistMay 6, 2013

Dec 2, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett talks with quarterback Tony Romo (9) in the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Now that May has arrived and the draft and free agency are out of the way, here's a checklist of things the Dallas Cowboys have to address between now and the start of the 2013 NFL regular season. 


1. Settle the right tackle situation

Tyson Clabo signed with the Miami Dolphins over the weekend, leaving Eric Winston as the only legitimate option remaining on the free-agent market. Dallas could either pay up for Winston or keep Doug Free. Don't expect the Cowboys to do both, and don't expect them to do neither. They can't afford to enter 2013 with Jermey Parnell at right tackle. 

Deadline: Early June


2. Finalize a hard-and-fast play-calling system

Jerry Jones said last week that Tony Romo will become more involved in this process, as well as the game-planning process, which only adds to the confusion regarding who exactly will be calling the offensive shots this year in Dallas.

The reality is that Romo has always checked out of plays at a high rate, so things might not change a whole lot here. Jonathan Bales of The DC Times has a nice breakdown of what Romo's control has been like in recent years and why the play-calling process matters going forward.

Deadline: Late July


3. Determine Travis Frederick's role

The first-round pick is probably the only rookie who will start from the get-go, but Dallas has to determine if he's better off supplanting Phil Costa at center or Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard. Center makes a little more sense, but I think Costa is the better of those two incumbent starters. Injuries could make this decision easier on Jason Garrett. 

Deadline: Late August


4. Pick a starting free safety

J.J. Wilcox is a rookie, and Matt Johnson is a rookie for all intents and purposes. Can either beat out the unimpressive 30-year-old Will Allen in order to earn a starting spot next to Barry Church? Cowboys fans are definitely praying that one of those young guys emerges to replace the departed Gerald Sensabaugh.

Deadline: Late August


5. Decide on a No. 3 receiver

The Cowboys will once again have an open battle for this job. Last year, it was won in camp by Kevin Ogletree, but he let it slip away during the season and is now gone. Two years ago, Laurent Robinson stole the job in October.

This year, rookie third-round pick Terrance Williams will likely battle it out with Dwayne Harris, who was superb late in 2012. The loser could be in big trouble, though, because Cole Beasley will probably get snaps as the No. 4 receiver working from the slot. 

Deadline: Early September