Last offseason was good to Cowboys

IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys’ offseason didn’t really start after their loss to the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round.

There were contracts that needed to be worked out after the game with the bulk of the coaching staff, including Jason Garrett. The next week the staff coached in the Pro Bowl. Last week, the coaches were off, given some rest during Super Bowl week.

The Cowboys’ offseason actually starts on Monday. Jason Garrett explained from the Pro Bowl that the coaches will have to play catch up. The mornings will be served evaluating the Cowboys’ players and the afternoon will be focused on the draftable players.

It will be a vitally important offseason for the Cowboys. There is no doubt they will be keeping wide receiver Dez Bryant in some sort of fashion. There is doubt about their ability to keep DeMarco Murray, who was named the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year over the weekend.

Then there are smaller– but also extremely important – decisions to make on their remaining unrestricted and restricted free agents to-be.

But let’s take a look back at the 2014 offseason. ESPN Insider Mike Sando did just that last week with the help of fellow Insiders Bill Williamson, Louis Riddick and Field Yates.

The initial grade was a C. The loss of DeMarcus Ware as a cap casualty was cited. The team also did not have any “wow” factors in free agency and the biggest wow, at least to those not paying attention to their plan, was passing on Johnny Manziel in the first round and drafting Zack Martin.

Now Martin has become a “wow” player and there was some “wow” news delivered by Manziel and his decision to enter rehab.

The crew considered giving the Cowboys an A but it sounds like they resisted some in part because of perceived good fortune rather than football savvy, especially in the Rolando McClain trade.

"The most important part of their offseason was not restructuring a deal or trading or drafting a player," Yates said in the post. "Sometimes it is an internal philosophical tweak that you will not know about unless you are inside the building. Wasn't Jerry Jones voted the executive of the year? I did not look at their moves last season and say, 'Yep, that is going to happen.' They made a smart move in the first round. [Second-round pick] DeMarcus Lawrence will be a good edge-rusher. They have a decent pipeline of young talent, too."

Regardless of how it happened, the Cowboys had success in the 2014.

They will need another strong offseason in 2015.