In an ever-improving NFC East division, the Dallas Cowboys needed a very good NFL Draft to stay with the pack. I’m not convinced they met that requirement.
The Cowboys were already a team with some deficiencies on their roster in 2017. More formed in the offseason of 2018, and the Cowboys were tasked with alleviating those deficiencies. As I wrote in a review of the NFC East’ performance in the NFL Draft, the Cowboys did a decent job, but they left quite a bit on the table.
"The Cowboys hit on some positions, and overall, this draft gave them a number of players who will contribute early. However, there were too many holes to give them solid grade. In a division that seems to keep getting better, the Dallas Cowboys may have fallen behind with this draft class. It’s worth noting that the team traded a sixth-round pick for Rams’ hybrid receiver Tavon Austin. That alone won’t turn the fortunes of an inconsistent draft performance."
I think the offense will be decent in 2018. Most of the offensive line is still in tact, and Connor Williams will start at left guard. Ezekiel Elliot is back for his third season, as is franchise quarterback Dak Prescott. But the team’s defense isn’t deep enough, especially in the trenches, to stave off competitions and help the offense rest. There’s a reason the Cowboys wanted to sign Terrell McClain. Behind Tyrone Crawford, and Maelik Collins, the Cowboys are paper thin on the defensive line. Demarcus Lawrence should come in and play well, just as he did last year, but one player does not make a unit. The Cowboys need more to last sixteen games in the NFL, and right now, they don’t have it.
Combine this lack of depth on defense wit the unproven nature of Prescott’s skill position players, as well as the loss of Jason Witten, a true locker room leader, and the circumstances don’t appear to be adding up in the Cowboys’ favor.