If the NFL regular season is for armchair quarterbacking, the offseason is for armchair general managing. It’s not easy to be entirely content with the decisions your favorite team makes with the season still months away. Dallas Cowboys fans have been particularly frustrated with the front office after seasons of conservative spending in free agency and years of pushing an unavoidable long-term extension with QB Dak Prescott.
This year, however, we should give credit to the Dallas Cowboys for getting the offseason right.
The elephant in the room is Dak Prescott’s deal. After letting the negotiations run for a couple of years longer than they should’ve, the Cowboys secured their franchise quarterback for the next four years. Better late than never.
Now, granted, it was not an ideal offseason. After all, the Cowboys’ most important signings in free agency were one-year deals. Damontae Kazee and Keanu Neal should make an instant impact on defense but they don’t provide a long-term answer. Also, once again, the front office steered clear from bigger, more expensive signings.
Even in a year that featured plenty of options to upgrade the defensive backfield in March, the Dallas Cowboys are still in a weak spot at cornerback and safety.
While one could disagree with their beliefs on free agency, the truth is the Cowboys were never going to fully fix the defense that broke all the wrong records in 2020 with a few signings. Instead, the biggest upgrade they made on defense was adding Dan Quinn to the coaching staff.
Despite a mixed bag of results in his coaching career, Quinn is familiar with winning. He certainly won’t have the talent he had in Seattle when he coached the Legion of Boom, but he should be an upgrade over Mike Nolan.
Plus, the Cowboys added plenty of defensive players in the NFL Draft, drafting defense only with their first six picks. While we shouldn’t expect a rebuilt defense, we shouldn’t expect such a bad unit like the one we witnessed in 2020.
One popular complaint regarding the Dallas Cowboys’ offseason was not adding a better offensive lineman. The Cowboys waited until the fourth round to draft OT Josh Ball even though they had an opportunity to get Rashawn Slater in the first and other tackles in the second and third round. Personally, I liked the idea of getting Slater if the two top cornerbacks were off the board, which they were.
But the Cowboys feel better about two things than most fans do. 1) Tyron Smith’s health. 2) Left Guard Connor Williams. So drafting a player with the mindset of exploiting his position flex might not have made as much sense as adding Micah Parsons with a win-now mentality.
The Cowboys also avoided mistakes by not trading players like Michael Gallup. Many fans and analysts suggested the possibility, but I strongly believe keeping Gallup made the most sense. Even if they fail to re-sign him after 2021, the Cowboys are poised to be one of the best WR units in the NFL. Why change that when you’re depending as much as you are on your offense?
The 2021 NFL Kickoff is less than 100 days away. Although it remains to be seen what kind of a team the Dallas Cowboys will prove to be this year, I believe the front office got the offseason right.
Featured Image Via Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports