30 DAYS LATER ...

IRVING, TX -- Exactly a month ago, we decided to plunge inside Bill Parcells' mind and inside Jerry Jones' wallet and emerged making suggestions for Cowboys' offseason moves. Time to review our thoughts -- and their work.

OFFENSIVE LINE: WHAT WE SAID THEN. ...
"(Marco) Rivera and Larry Allen (are) both just good enough to keep winning the job, both just old enough to always be on the verge of replacement. But do you cut Allen? ... You can use a No. 1 pick on an offensive lineman, a tackle. And you can spend money on center LeCharles Bentley from New Orleans. He's 26, and, not to be too blood-thirsty here, but what do you think are the chances he wants to re-up with the troubled Saints? Oh, a speaking of trouble: how much do the Bills now dislike Mike Williams? The massive Texas product isn't even projected as a Buffalo starter. Dallas ought to do some research here. ... The best bet: Jets' Jason Fabini is a casualty cut, a legit starter and an old Parcells Guy.''

WHAT WE CAN SAY NOW. ...
Yes, you do cut Larry Allen. The most decorated lineman in franchise history is, as of Tuesday, gone. The Cowboys did like Bentley, and he didn't like New Orleans, and now he's a Brown. Williams was never a factor here, but Fabini can be penciled in at right tackle. And to replace Allen, pencil in newcomer Kyle Kosier at left guard.

Oh, and yes, offensive tackle remains a focal point of the first day of the Cowboys draft. So far, a slight upgrade here.

WIDE RECEIVER: WHAT WE SAID THEN. ...
"Start with a big swing for Terrell Owens. ... End with a plan to use a mid-round pick on somebody like Auburn wide receiver Ben Obomanu.''

WHAT WE CAN SAY NOW. ...
To be honest, I haven't spent a lot of time double-checking the Ben Obomanu thing. At wide receiver, as you know, the Cowboys have been busy elsewhere, so I have, too.

So far, a major upgrade -- at least until Dallas irritates Owens by losing a game or two.

QUARTERBACK: WHAT WE SAID THEN. ...
"Behind Drew Bledsoe, Dallas has nothing but question marks. If San Diego deems starter Drew Brees healthy and retainable, backup Philip Rivers goes on the block. Dallas makes that inquiring phone call. Does Patrick Ramsey still want out of Washington? Ramsey represents a semi-proven upgrade over the Cowboys' existing backups, and also has an upside. And in the draft? I don't know if the Cowboys take one, but I have an educated guess which one they sort of like: Put me down for guessing that eventually, word will leak that the Cowboys give good grades to Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle, projected as the fourth best QB in this draft.''

WHAT WE CAN SAY NOW. ...
I keep beating this drum, and the Cowboys keep not listening. Brees is a Saint, Ramsey is a Jet, Croyle is still attractive, and behind Bledsoe, somebody at Valley Ranch sure loves him some Tony Romo.

So far. ... well, I might quit beating that drum.

DEFENSE: WHAT WE SAID THEN. ...
"If the Cowboys really decide to dump someone like Greg Ellis, replacing him with someone like (Jets DE John) Abraham makes grand sense. ... Easier to do: remember Darren Howard? ... Another NFL team's guy tells me Dallas MUST sign a linebacker to replace Dat. ...''

WHAT WE CAN SAY NOW. ...
Greg Ellis is staying, so there aren't D-line needs. The Dat replacement is Jacksonville ex-Akin Ayodele. But Dallas is still down one at linebacker, with Scott Fujita leaving. So LB remains a first-round possibility.

So far, the Cowboys are essentially treading water here.

KICKER: WHAT WE SAID THEN. ...
"Spending big bucks on a kicker has never been Jerry Jones' thing. Acknowledging that there is a kicker even on the team has never been Bill Parcells' thing (while in Dallas). But have they both seen enough of Cundiff-Suisham-Cortez-Suisham-Cundiff? Yup. I've been informed of Dallas' ranking of FA kickers. A source tells me that ranking behind New England's Adam Vinatieri and Indy's Mike Vanderjagt, and right alongside the rest, is none other than Tampa Bay's Matt Bryant, who had a fine season with the Bucs and is now available again.

"My bet,'' a source tells us, "is that (Dallas) will get one of those three: Vinatieri, Vanderjagt or Bryant.''

WHAT WE CAN SAY NOW. ...
Bryant re-upped with Tampa, and on Tuesday, Vinatieri jumped ship to Indy. Using our logic then and our facts now -- and the promise from management that kicker is a priority -- maybe the T.O. of placekickers, the Colts' Mike Vanderjagt, ends up a Cowboy?

But just in case, we'll re-check the Cowboys and ourselves on these topics in a month, OK?

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