2013 NFL Offseason: Dallas Cowboys
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents
Dallas Cowboys (Last Year: 8-8)
2013 NFL Draft Grade: C
Please note that the overall grade is not an average of all the individual grades. Other things are taken into account like team needs and goals.
Goals Entering the 2013 NFL Draft: The Cowboys have decided to stick with Tony Romo for the long term, so they absolutely need to make sure he's protected for a change. They need help at right tackle, guard and center. Some pieces for their new 4-3 also have to be obtained.
2013 NFL Draft Accomplishments: Everyone quickly forgot about the Bills' antics with E.J. Manuel when the Cowboys spent the 31st-overall selection on third-round prospect Travis Frederick. If there are any Dallas homers who still believe that this wasn't a reach, head coach Jason Garrett admitted as much. Garrett said the team panicked when all of the guards were flying off the board. This is exactly why the Cowboys need a real general manager.
Dallas wasted another selection with Gavin Escobar in the second round, but quickly recovered in Round 3. I liked many of the team's later picks, including J.J. Wilcox and B.W. Webb. Both were taken in the right range, and they'll undoubtedly help a mediocre secondary. Terrance Williams and Joseph Randle will be nice weapons for Tony Romo down the road.
Having said that, a "C" grade feels about right. There were more good picks than bad ones, and I liked that the Cowboys at least moved down in the first round. However, taking Frederick was inexcusable, and I don't know why Dallas refrained from adding any new pieces to its new 4-3 until the 185th pick. Why was Sharrif Floyd not an option at No. 18? He would have been a force in between DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer, and he was a perfect fit as a three-technique in Monte Kiffin's defense.
2013 NFL Draft Individual Grades:
31. Travis Frederick, G/C, Wisconsin: MILLEN HIGH-PRICED SCOREBOARD THAT MAKES PEOPLE BLIND KIELBASA Grade
Travis Frederick!?!? The Wisconsin lineman who was considered a third-round prospect? There were other reaches in the first round, but this takes the cake. It seems like the Cowboys panicked with all of the guards flying off the board, which is the worst thing you can ever do in the NFL Draft. It's never been more obvious that Dallas needs a real general manager.
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47. Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State: D Grade
Jerruh sure loves his third-round prospects. Gavin Escobar belonged in the third frame. Even worse, he doesn't fill a need. The Cowboys have so many defensive issues, especially considering that they're moving into a new 4-3, that it's a big head-scratcher that they haven't addressed their stop unit yet.
74. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: B+ Grade
Terrance Williams' stock has fallen over the pre-draft process; he was once considered a first-round possibility. This should probably be the right range for him, so this is a rare quality pick for Dallas, as Miles Austin-Jones won't be around much longer.
80. J.J. Wilcox, S, Georgia Southern: B+ Grade
It's funny that Dallas' third-round picks could be considered better players than the guys they obtained in the first and second rounds. J.J. Wilcox fills a big need at safety and could have easily gone a bit earlier than this.
114. B.W. Webb, CB, William & Mary: B+ Grade
Once again, Dallas' later players are better than their earlier ones. Some viewed B.W. Webb as a late second-round prospect, so this is very good value. The Cowboys had to add a corner, as they had just four of them on the roster.
151. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State: A- Grade
This is a pretty solid pick. I feel like Joseph Randle should have gone earlier than this. The Cowboys were desperate for a second running back with Felix Jones gone, as DeMarco Murray is too injury-prone.
185. DeVonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina: B+ Grade
Finally, a front-seven piece for Monte Kiffin's defense. It's not the defensive lineman that Dallas sorely has to acquire, but DeVonte Holloman fills the need for depth. I thought he'd go a bit earlier than this.
*** 2013 NFL TEAM NEEDS BELOW COMMENT BOARD ***
It's always something with the Cowboys. If they're not missing tackles while the other team is trying to ice the game, they're dropping touchdowns. If they're not dropping touchdowns, the coach is icing his own kicker. If the coach isn't icing his own kicker, he's wasting timeouts. If it's none of that, perhaps it's a DeMarco Murray fumble. Or a Dez Bryant finger out of bounds. Or an infield fly rule interception by Tony Romo. The Cowboys always find a way to lose.
- Two Interior Linemen: There's some talk about the Cowboys moving Mackenzy Bernadeau from right guard to center. I have my doubts about that helping at all. Regardless, Dallas needs help at both guard and center. Drafted Travis Frederick; re-signed Phil Costa
- Two Linebackers: A strongside linebacker is needed in the new 4-3. Depth also has to be acquired. Signed Justin Durant
- Two Safeties: Dallas had major issues at strong safety this past season, and it all started when Barry Church went on injured reserve. Church tore his Achilles, so he may not be 100 percent next year. Meanwhile, Gerald Sensabaugh was inexplicably released in early March. Signed Will Allen; drafted J.J. Wilcox
- Defensive End: Anthony Spencer is a free agent, as is Victor Butler. If the Cowboys don't re-sign Spencer, they'll have to find a worthy complement for DeMarcus Ware in their new 4-3. They could still use depth regardless though. Franchised Anthony Spencer
- Defensive Tackle: Jay Ratliff could back next year, but he hasn't played well since signing a big contract. Help is needed at defensive tackle.
- Right Tackle: Doug Free has been terrible ever since signing a $32 million contract nearly two years ago. Jerry Jones needs to find some competition for him (assuming he's even on the roster).
- Quarterback: It seems like yesterday when Tony Romo took over as Dallas' starting quarterback, but he'll be 33 in April. Jerry Jones needs to think about finding a potential successor.
- Running Back: Felix Jones is a free agent, so the Cowboys may want to add some depth. Drafted Joseph Randle
- Cornerback: Another position where depth should be acquired. Drafted B.W. Webb
2013 NFL Free Agent Signings:
Justin Durant, OLB, Lions. Age: 27.
Signed with Cowboys
Justin Durant has been very solid in run support for the Lions over the past couple of years. He should be limited to two downs though because he's not that good in coverage.
- Will Allen, S, Steelers. Age: 31. -- Signed with Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys Free Agents:
Salary Cap: TBA.
Anthony Spencer, DE/OLB, Cowboys. Age: 29.
Re-signed with Cowboys (1 year, $10.6 million)
Anthony Spencer dealt with consistency issues early in his career, but he was amazing for the Cowboys this past season, both in terms of stopping the run and getting to the quarterback.
Gerald Sensabaugh, S, Cowboys. Age: 30.
Cutting Gerald Sensabugh saved the Cowboys just $1.4 million in cap space, so this was a strange move. Sensabaugh isn't very good in run support, but he's pretty solid in coverage. He can be a good starter for some team, though he'll have to fight through a very competitive free-agent safety class.
Phil Costa (RFA), C, Cowboys. Age: 26.
Re-signed with Cowboys (2 years)
Phil Costa is a serviceable starting center, but he's coming off foot surgery and may not be ready for the start of the season.
Victor Butler, DE/OLB, Cowboys. Age: 26.
Signed with Saints
Victor Butler has shown some solid pass-rushing ability in his brief action behind DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer.
Mike Jenkins, CB, Cowboys. Age: 28.
Signed with Raiders (1 year)
Mike Jenkins has talent, but he's a head case who hasn't put it together yet. Maybe some coach can salvage his career.
Dan Connor, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 28.
Signed with Giants
Dan Connor has been a disappointment in his pro career thus far, but he's a very good reserve linebacker and an OK spot starter in the middle of a 3-4 defense.
- Marcus Spears, DE/DT, Cowboys. Age: 30. -- Signed with Ravens (2 years)
- Kenyon Coleman, DE/DT, Cowboys. Age: 34. -- Signed with Saints
- Eric Frampton, S, Cowboys. Age: 29.
- Felix Jones, RB, Cowboys. Age: 26. -- Signed with Eagles
- Kevin Ogletree, WR, Cowboys. Age: 26. -- Signed with Buccaneers
- Danny McCray (RFA), S, Cowboys. Age: 25. -- Tendered by Cowboys
- John Phillips, TE, Cowboys. Age: 26. -- Signed with Chargers (3 years)
- Ernie Sims, OLB, Cowboys. Age: 28. -- Re-signed with Cowboys
- Derrick Dockery, G, Cowboys. Age: 33.
- Charlie Peprah, S, Cowboys. Age: 30.
- Brian Schaefering, DE/DT, Cowboys. Age: 30.
- Brian Moorman, P, Cowboys. Age: 37.
- Anthony Armstrong, WR, Cowboys. Age: 30. -- Re-signed with Cowboys
- Brady Poppinga, ILB, Cowboys. Age: 33.
- Michael Coe, CB, Cowboys. Age: 29.
2013 NFL Free Agent Positions:
QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades
2013 Fantasy Football Rankings - June 20
2014 NFL Mock Draft - June 18
Charlie's 2014 NFL Mock Draft - June 17
2013 NBA Mock Draft - May 22
NFL Picks - Feb. 3
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