The Dallas Cowboys had glimpses of brilliance at some points last year on defense. At other times, they were absolutely atrocious.
Up in Green Bay comes to mind, giving up 28 points in the second quarter. In addition to making David Garrard look like a future Hall of Famer at home in Week 8.
With Wade Phillips gone, no doubt things can improve without the turmoil and speculation surrounding his job and responsibilities to the defense.
The Cowboys have question marks in the secondary that finished 26th in the league against the pass. Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins played well late in the season, but can be inconsistent and susceptible to big plays. They also need to find answers to the free and strong safety positions.
Gerald Sensabaugh is a free agent and most likely won't be retained. Hopefully Jerry Jones continues to aggressively pursue big-name free agents to try and help the defensive side of the ball.
With the draft just months away, that offers a vital opportunity to add young talent and build for the future, but here are a list of offseason acquisitions that are already proven playmakers that could be beneficial to the Cowboys' pass rush and secondary for years to come.
Seymour played great last season in the interior of the Raiders' base 4-3 D, at tackle, even though he used to be a rush end. There's no doubt he could slide into the right side of the Boys' base 3-4, and create an unbelievable tandem off the edge with DeMarcus.
Seymour, a 10-year veteran out of Georgia, has been a solid player in the league for years. Last season he lost his cool and punched Big Ben, but maybe that's the fiery leadership the Cowboys need on the D-line.
He would be a tremendous pick-up with Igor Olshansky in that spot now. At 31, Seymour has at least two or three seasons left at a high level, registering 5.5 sacks last season in Oakland.
Champ is a savvy veteran who would be a difference-maker in Dallas. He has a proven track record with the complete arsenal of skills. He is one of the best bump-and-run cover corners to ever play the game and a great tackler.
He just finished his 10th Pro Bowl season and is available if the price is right.
Posluszny is a great player stuck on a bad defense. The 26-year-old Nittany Lion is a run-stopper and big hitter. He has experience in the 3-4 and would be a great addition to the Cowboys' linebackers.
Paul would be a phenomenal replacement for Keith Brooking, who is a great leader at 35 years old, but it didn't really translate to big plays last season. Look for Jerry to reload through free agency or the upcoming draft, because Brady James needs help on the right side of the linebacker corps.
Alan Ball and Gerald Sensabaugh are both free agents right now, leaving a huge gap in both safety positions with their future still undecided. Darren Sharper is a journeyman who has invaluable leadership and experience in big games.
He would likely be a cheap investment that could have serious benefits to the young group in Dallas. In his 13 seasons, Sharper has 63 picks,13 touchdowns and over 600 tackles.
Darelle Revis is great and Champ is still playing at a high level, but Asomugha is the best bump-and-run cover corner in the league. He isn't talked about as much because of the Raiders' struggles, but he is without a doubt on every team's wish list this offseason.
He shuts down one half of the field; no one has done that since another famous No. 21 that was just inducted in the Hall of Fame last week.
It remains to be seen what will transpire with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and other possibilities pertaining to his contract with Al Davis. It's most likely he'll be available to the highest bidder—hopefully it's Jerry Jones.
With the Super Bowl odds just released for 2012, the Dallas Cowboys are third, trailing behind the Super Bowl XLV champion Packers and the Patriots at 8-to-1 odds of winning in Lucas Oil Field next February.
If Jerry could add some of this veteran free-agent talent on defense, there's no doubt those odds will increase.