Stephen Jones and the Dallas Cowboys aren’t looking to be big spenders this offseason in free agency. We’ll have to see if that remains the case though. Regardless, I thought it would be fun if we take a look at the 2019 free agent class and create a wish list of players the Cowboys could be interested in.
Since this is a wish list I disregarded what it would take for the Cowboys to bring any of these free agents aboard. That after all would take all the fun out of this anyway. This would be much more like how things were handled under Jerry Jones before the salary cap. Can you imagine how exciting this offseason would be if that were still the case?
Let’s get started shall we…
Defensive Free Agent Targets
FS, Earl Thomas
As we know, the Dallas Cowboys aggressively tried to work out a trade with the Seattle Seahawks for Free Safety Earl Thomas last season to no avail. With the Seahawks now out of the picture because Thomas is a free agent, the Cowboys can sign him to a contract this offseason without having to surrender a draft pick. Timing is everything.
Thomas is the most likely free agent on this list to land in Dallas in 2019. It’s kind of difficult to imagine the Cowboys won’t do everything within their power to bring him aboard, especially after pursuing him so aggressively last year. A reunion with Kris Richard could be exactly what he and the Dallas Cowboys need to return to the Super Bowl.
DT, Grady Jarrett
As much as I’d love to see Earl Thomas in a Dallas Cowboys uniform in 2019, I’d much rather have free agent Defensive Tackle Grady Jarrett. This guy might just be the second best DT in the NFL behind Aaron Donald and his ability to impact games as a pass rusher would make the Cowboys defense immensely better.
Jarrett is the perfect under tackle or 3-technique in the Cowboys 4-3 defensive scheme. He has improved every season since entering the league in 2015 and has a total of 14 quarterback sacks in his career, six of which he accumulated this past season. With a defensive line void of much talent, he would immediately upgrade Dallas’ front seven and give them a disruptive pass rushing presence in the middle.
DE, Frank Clark
Frank Clark is the defensive end I wanted the Dallas Cowboys to draft with their second round pick in 2015 instead of Randy Gregory, even though he had his off the field problems as well. He has without a doubt had the better career of the two and would create a dynamic duo playing opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. He’s accumulated 35 quarterback sacks in his career, 13 of which came in 2018.
Randy Gregory did flash how talented he could be in the second half of the 2018 season, but Clark has proven to be the more consistent DE since entering the league. He is equally effective against the run as he is getting after the QB and his addition would give the Cowboys defense the best pass rushers in the entire league. With him and Lawrence coming off the edges, opposing QBs would have to run for their lives.
Offensive Free Agent Targets
TE, Jared Cook
There’s no question the Dallas Cowboys are looking to upgrade their tight end position in the offseason, so why not address the glaring need with the top free agent TE? Although he’s 31 years old, Jared Cook would immediately step in as the TE1 in Dallas and become a major asset in the passing game for Dak Prescott.
Jared Cook couldn’t have asked for a better time to be hitting the open market. He is coming off a career year in which he caught 68 passes for 896 yards and six touchdowns, his best season yet in the NFL. He’s at his best when he’s used as a receiver in the passing game, but he’s no slouch as a blocker. He would be an upgrade in Dallas, even though Blake Jarwin showed some promise towards the end of the season.
WR, Robby Anderson
The Dallas Cowboys tried to make their offense a little more explosive last season by adding Tavon Austin, but unfortunately that didn’t pan out. But just because that didn’t work shouldn’t keep them from trying again, which is why free agent Robby Anderson would be pretty high on their wish list this offseason. Anderson is however a restricted free agent, but this is a wish list after all so I’m not factoring that in.
Anderson of course isn’t without his warts as a player. He has some off the field issues that he needs to clean up, but there’s no denying his ability in the passing game. He would give the Cowboys offense that deep threat they’ve been missing for about a decade now, which would make the passing game all that more potent. The thought of Michael Gallup and Anderson on the outside, with Amari Cooper in the slot would probably give Dak Prescott wet dreams.
RB, Mark Ingram
Despite being a little banged up in 2018, Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott still managed to lead the NFL in rushing yards, earning the rushing title for the second time in three years. He is arguably the best RB in the entire league, but it’s time to upgrade the backup position behind him in order to keep him as healthy as possible. That’s why Mark Ingram should be on the Cowboys free agent wish list.
Ingram would help form a formidable one-two punch with Zeke, more than likely turning the Cowboys offense into the best rushing team in the entire league. That would really play into their blueprint of controlling the time possession with the rushing attack, all the while keeping their defense as fresh as possible to dominate. How exciting would it be to see Zeke and Ingram punishing opposing defenses down after down?