*Unfinished Business *
Training camp is only a few weeks away, but are the Cowboys needing to make any upgrades. The writers discuss if there are positions on the roster that need to be addressed.
(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into the 2023 season. Today, the staff writers continue the series with a question about a position that might need an upgrade.)
Patrik Walker: Take a deep breath, cup both of your hands around your mouth like a megaphone and say this along with me: kicker. No knock to Tristan Vizcaino, who performed well in OTAs and in mandatory minicamp, or the newly-signed Brandon Aubrey (out of the USFL), but I'm still landing on this position as the one carrying the most concern. Kudos to them for creating a competition to start camp, but is this matchup enough? Not for me, at least not yet it isn't, but let's see where this goes.
Kurt Daniels: Although offensive line still has plenty of question marks, right now I think the bigger concern is at linebacker. Take Micah Parsons out of the equation since he'll primarily be rushing the passer and that leaves Leighton Vander Esch and a whole lot of youth. There's plenty of promise here in Damone Clark, Jabril Cox, Devin Harper and even rookies DeMarvion Overshown and Isaiah Land, but at this point none would be considered a sure thing. Given that, it seems likely the Cowboys will soon add another Anthony Barr type, a solid, dependable veteran who can provide a steadying presence.
Nick Harris: I personally like the depth around the team right now, but I would like to see added help on the interior of the offensive line. Questions remain on if Terence Steele will be ready for the season opener, and if he's not that will potentially force Tyler Smith to move to tackle, triggering a need for offensive guard depth. Just one body in that position group with veteran experience could provide such a strong safety net so that Dallas can prepare for the possibility of injuries rather than get caught unprepared.
Mickey Spagnola: Despite the Cowboys signing 28-year-old Brandon Aubrey to join Tristan Vizcaino, addressing the kicker position is far from over. Look, second-year kicker Vizcaino has limited NFL experience. And though he kicked well during the offseason, not quite impressive enough to prevent the Cowboys from bringing in some camp competition. So, they did so on Thursday by signing Aubrey, competition all right, but he has no college or NFL kicking experience. Aubrey was pretty accurate these past two seasons for Birmingham in the USFL, making 32 of 37 field goal attempts and 57 of 59 extra points. In 2023 for the USFL champs, Aubrey nailed 14 of 15 field goals and all 35 extra points. A pretty good start, but now comes the pressure. Kickoffs and field goals of distance might become the deciding factor between these two . . . for now. And this will be a hard spot to satisfy, since until Brett Maher suffered those four missed extra points in the Tampa Bay playoff game, he spoiled the Cowboys this past season by making 90.6 percent of his field goals, 94 percent of his extra points and converting nine of 11 field goal attempts from 50-plus yards. That might be impossible to replace. So, still think is a TBD position.