Yesterday I wrote that the Dallas Cowboys did two very good things with their 2013 draft class; they added depth and created competition. However, they didn’t do everything well in the draft because they failed in two major areas, and it could cost them in the 2013 season.
As much as the Cowboys improved an offense that is changing heading into the new NFL season, new weapons and all, the Cowboys still didn’t do enough to upgrade their offensive line. Travis Frederick was a good pick at a need position but where are the other players that can help a struggling unit? The Cowboys needed to draft or sign a better option at center, guard and tackle in the offseason and so far, only one of those positions has been addressed. The competition is great, but competition with average players won’t get the Cowboys where they need to go.
Dallas can still address the tackle position by working out a deal with Eric Winston or Tyson Clabo but as of now, there isn’t anything on the horizon. As it stands, the Cowboys have only one new starter on an offensive line that was horrible last year and the draft was a perfect opportunity to get better in the trenches but they failed to do so. All the new weapons in the world won’t help the Cowboys if Tony Romo doesn’t have more time to throw.
It wasn’t just on the offensive line the Cowboys failed to address either, they didn’t strengthen their defensive line in the draft, which is also a need. The Cowboys do have talent on the defensive line but it’s older talent and some of its core players are heading into the last year of a contract, so Dallas needed to draft for depth and to replace players that will soon be gone. To make matters worse, there were plenty of options for the Cowboys to choose from at pick 18 but they elected to trade back instead.
I realize you can’t solve all your problems in one draft but the Cowboys didn’t strengthen themselves much at all in the trenches, while the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles drafted plenty of help along their lines. These are the types of things that tend to come back and haunt the Cowboys; when they don’t recognize that the NFL is still a game won in the trenches.
The other thing the Cowboys failed to do was draft immediate starters. By all calculations, Dallas drafted players at positions where they already have starters entrenched. It doesn’t mean these players won’t contribute, because most of the players the Cowboys drafted will see significant playing time but they didn’t draft more than one starter for the 2013 season. This was a deep draft and the Cowboys had ample opportunity to draft players that could help solidify a starting group of players but they didn’t do that. Perhaps it’s nit-picking a little here but they could have come away with more starters from their 2013 draft class but they didn’t.
Overall the Cowboys had a very nice draft class but they failed to address two of their biggest needs. Both sides of the ball needed upgrades in the trenches and the Cowboys didn’t get enough help in those areas.