As the second rebuild for the Dallas Cowboys starts, new and major changes are arriving for the team.

Many have mentioned this plenty before, but the team’s talent needs to match the production and performance.

The defense was where things really started to go wrong.

What moves can put the Cowboys in a better position for the 2021-2022 season?

New Defensive Coaches

Mike Nolan ran historically the worst defense that not only Cowboys Nation has seen, but NFL fans everywhere have seen. Sparks of hope and passion were nice to watch, but what the Dallas Cowboys are truly in need of is consistency. Maybe consistent isn’t the greatest word to describe new defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn, but Quinn is a new face that should bring edge and a motivating spirit.

Mike McCarthy decided to bring his friend back (once again) and brought on new hire Joe Whitt Jr. for the vacant secondary coaching position. Both coaches have pretty good resumes with Quinn and the “Legion of Boom” and Whitt with his development of Jaire Alexander, a talented and skilled player.

These are faces that could potentially shape a great Dallas defense.

Free Agency

Who stays? Who goes? And who gets picked up? Free agency can be where real game-changers can be added.

So far, the Dallas Cowboys defensive free agents follow:

  1. DE Aldon Smith
  2. CB Chidobe Awuzie
  3. S Xavier Woods
  4. CB Jourdan Lewis
  5. DE/DT Tyrone Crawford
  6. CB CJ Goodwin
  7. DT Antwuan Woods
  8. LB Sean Lee
  9. LB Joe Thomas
  10. LB Justin March
  11. DE Ron’Dell Carter
  12. DT Eli Ankou

These are some players who are about to hit free agency that most wouldn’t mind walking. Xavier Woods, Jourdan Lewis, Tyrone Crawford, Antwuan Woods, and Sean Lee are the main names that are on that walking list, and here’s why. It’s either injury, money, or production. Sean Lee is treasured in Dallas, but he is injury-ridden and could take up space for a talented pickup.

Photo: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Tyrone Crawford could save the team a lot of money if he walks, and he also just went under the knife for an injury. Jourdan Lewis and Antwuan Woods haven’t shown much why they should stay rather than why they could walk.

And finally, Xavier Woods, as harsh as it sounds, is very replaceable. Especially while safeties with more productive stats have hit the market. Denver Broncos safety is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, and NY Jets safety Marcus Maye, who isn’t that committed to the Jets organization. It isn’t about who’s comfortable and more about who can win a championship.

Draft Picks

The Dallas Cowboys are pretty good with their draft picks and with the 10th pick in a draft where there are a lot of talented defensive players. With the secondary having way too many holes to cover, with the possible exception of Trevon Diggs, Cornerback is a huge draft need of Dallas. Patrick Surtain II would be a great addition to that secondary. And although Surtain isn’t guaranteed to get into Jerry Jones’ hands that easily, there’s still talent like Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech or Jaycee Horn out of South Carolina.

In both early and late-stage rounds, there are many players for the Cowboys to work within getting a well-rounded defense.

This defensive rebuild will take time and a lot of methodical work, but it can be done. And it’ll all be worth it.

Featured Image: Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports
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