The sports world may be on pause due to COVID-19, but free agency in the NFL will continue to move forward.
The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of players from their 2019 roster that is up for grabs this year, which means they’ll have to do some shopping come free agency on March 18th.
Everyone may think that the only way to improve would be to seek out the top free agents. However, there is something to be said about finding some diamonds in the rough. Dallas is already at a point of paying top dollar to their superstars, so they need to find value at other positions to contain the cap space.
These players may not be the all-stars fans want, but they’re the role players this team will need.
Michael Brockers // DL
Mike has been one of the lesser-known factors for the Los Angeles Rams due to the success of his teammate, Aaron Donald. This doesn’t discredit the fact that Brockers has become a consistent player that puts up 50+ tackles per season over the past 3 years.
His health should also make him desirable for Dallas as Mike hasn’t missed a game since 2016. This would also be a great addition to Mike Nolan’s defense given that Brockers can play across the line.
Andrew Billings // DT
Being from Texas, Andrew could look to come back home during free agency. The Waco product has been a steal for the Bengals since entering the league. His stats suggest he’s your run of the mill kind of player, but actually seeing him play is a different tale.
While Dallas has undervalued the defensive tackle position under Rod Marinelli, it caused this team to struggle to get pressure down the middle. Being able to clog up the middle comes naturally to Andrew, and Mike Nolan loves a guy that can contain running backs. This could be a small step, but it’ll be one that is definitely in the right direction.
Kendall Fuller // CB
The chance of having Byron Jones walk is growing by the day. Being able to sign a player of Fuller’s caliber would be a great plug for the time being. Fuller came back from a broken finger last season to help the Chiefs make their SuperBowl run.
While size may not be on his side, his ball skills make him a viable option at the corner for anyone. He’s batted down 24 balls and picked off 6 passes over his past 3 years in the league. Kendall could give Dallas enough room to breathe heading into the draft while also not breaking the bank.
Eli Apple // CB
After being selected #10 overall in the 2016 draft, Eli failed to live up to his expectations. His career has been average for the most part, but he’s flashed his potential at times. Having been on the same team last year as DC Mike Nolan gives him an edge for the Cowboys. He’s also a fairly young player that will be only 25 at the start of the regular season.
If Dallas can lock up a team-friendly deal, they could have a solid player for years to come. Eli still has improved over his first 4 seasons, and the next 4 could be even better.
Adrian Phillips // S
Obtaining a veteran safety like Adrian would go a long way for Dallas. The need for safety has been lingering around longer than most fans want to remember. He’s coming off a year in which he fractured his forearm that cost him 9 games in 2019.
Before that, he had a pro-bowl caliber season in 2018 with his 94 tackles and 9 pass defenses. He’s also made a name for himself by being someone that reads the field at an elite level. Knowing where to be on the field is one of the biggest responsibilities a safety has. With him roaming the backfield, Dallas could be in for a better season in terms of turnovers.
Karl Joseph // S
Throughout his 4-year career, Joseph has been plagued with injuries. His last injury was this past year after getting an interception against Phillip Rivers to close out a Raiders’ win. When healthy, Karl Joseph, has demonstrated the ability to be a great fit for any defense. He can play downhill football while playing above-average in coverage.
Obviously, his health is the issue, but that could be the reason for him being available at a great discount. At the very least, Karl would make Dallas feel better about their depth at the position. This is a low risk, high reward type of signing that could pay off greatly for Dallas.
These are just a few options Dallas has that could benefit their team, while not going after the Big Fish.
Free agency is the perfect place to not only improve your roster but also to clean up some roster needs prior to the draft.
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