Assessing the Cowboys' post-draft needs

IRVING, Texas -- For the most part the heavy lifting in terms of player acquisition is over now that the draft is complete.

While it doesn’t end, it does slow down.

In free agency, the Dallas Cowboys added Greg Hardy, Jasper Brinkley, Andrew Gachkar and Keith Rivers. They kept Rolando McClain, Doug Free and Cole Beasley after losing DeMarco Murray, Justin Durant, Bruce Carter, Henry Melton, Dwayne Harris, George Selvie, Anthony Spencer and Sterling Moore.

In the draft, they added Byron Jones and Randy Gregory with their first two picks and filled needs, mostly on defense, with their final six picks.

In examining the roster, there aren’t a lot of needs left to address. They have a glut of linebackers (14) for a 4-3 scheme. They have 15 defensive line candidates. They are set at quarterback and believe they are set at running back. They have four tight ends, which is enough.

Many were surprised when the Cowboys passed on selecting a running back in last week’s draft, but they have expressed faith in what they have and will look elsewhere in free agency or during the summer to improve there if need be.

While realizing you'd like better at a lot of spots, teams realize they can't have it all when it comes to their roster. With the Cowboys, there are only two real areas of need right now that need to be addressed before they head to Oxnard, California, for training camp at the end of July.

Interior offensive line

This has nothing to do with Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Ronald Leary and only a little to do with Mackenzy Bernadeau. The Cowboys have a top backup in Bernadeau, but his contract is up after this year. He is more of a guard playing center. The Cowboys don’t have a lot of interior linemen in the pipeline, so to speak. They have nine tackles, including their two draft picks, Chaz Green and Laurence Gibson, but only have four true interior linemen.


Like on the interior of the line, this has nothing to do with the starters Barry Church and J.J. Wilcox. The coaches like Jeff Heath. They could also use Jones as a safety if needed, but they want to him to begin focusing solely on cornerback. Keelan Johnson is the only other safety on the roster. Finding a safety is more about helping on special teams than it is helping the defense. The Cowboys could still re-sign C.J. Spillman, who filled a decent role last season. Another possibility to keep an eye on: Former Cowboy Danny McCray. The Cowboys like to keep four safeties with their backups serving as core special teamers.