Instead of waiting for free agent leftovers like they did a year ago, the Cowboys took the initiative and targeted and signed three key free agents on Thursday.
Right guard Marco Rivera, right cornerback Anthony Henry and defensive tackle Jason Ferguson were all brought in to fill specific needs, and on paper, they do just that.
Call it a change in philosophy. Call it a mini-make over. Call it whatever you like. The bottom line is that the Cowboys are a better team headed into the 2005 NFL Draft with these three acquisitions.
However, with three considerable holes now filled, one must ponder the question, 'what's next in line for the Dallas Cowboys?'
According to Jerry Jones, the answer should be somewhat obvious.
For starters, the Cowboys will probably not be able to afford to pursue some of the bigger names still available in free agency. Players like Plaxico Burress or Ty Law are probably not serious considerations going forward.
"We want to continue to look at the opportunities," Jones said Thursday. "'Plan is probably not the right word, but we still will look for opportunities."
One of those "opportunities" will likely be a safety, where the Cowboys would like to bring in an experienced veteran to help out Roy Williams.
"Certainly, we are going to be evaluating what we are going to look at safety. It's likely that we are going to do something at safety in free agency," Jones said.
One name to watch in the safety arena is former Tampa Bay corner/free safety Dwight Smith.
The versatile Smith has already drawn early interest from several teams in the league, including possibly Detroit and New Orleans, although it is not known if the Cowboys have shown significant interest.
Smith may be the best free safety on the market in the opinion of some. He has the range to make plays and has grabbed 12 interceptions over the last three years. He would also be beneficial to the Cowboys because he has experience playing both as a corner and a safety.
RanchReport.com is hoping to have more information on Smith later this afternoon or evening.
Outside of safety, the Cowboys will likely explore, but not pursue their options at right tackle. Jones believes that the signing of Marco Rivera will be a tremendous help to whoever starts at right tackle next season, and for that reason, he may not have to dish out the big dollars to bring in another experienced veteran.
"We want to continue to look at the opportunities out there," said Jones. "But we will also continue to look within at right tackle. Without a doubt, his (Rivera's) play will help the right tackle because we have some young guys."
And with the Cowboys' other needs, look for the team to address many of those in the draft. Wide receivers, defensive linemen, and linebackers are three specific needs that will likely be taken care of on draft day.
Who's Next in Line for Dallas?
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