FRISCO, Texas – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in celebration mode. And understandably so after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 55. Meanwhile, the remainder of the league, that has already been 'knee-deep' in draft preparation, now looks to either accept or avoid the 'knee-jerk' reaction after an unprecedented Super Bowl run.
Tampa was built just as much through a combination of key free agents like Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Leonard Fournette, as they were with a well-drafted foundation. Devin White, Antoine Winfield Jr., Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Ronald Jones II all were drafted by the Buccaneers and provided the ample opportunity for free agents to make a difference. But can this change the way that the Cowboys roster will be constructed?
Using the 2020 offseason as an example, Dallas attempted to flip the order of events and build through free agency first while wanting to fill the empty holes with draft prospects. Signings like Dontari Poe, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, and Gerald McCoy seemed to fill open roles with reliable veterans that allowed the Cowboys to do whatever they needed to in the draft. On paper, this seems like a great idea. But in order for it to work as planned, bargain hunting in free agency is not an option. Poe was a disappointment and liability against the run while neither Clinton-Dix or McCoy even made it out of training camp.
It seems as if Dallas has half the formula right. Drafting well hasn't been a real struggle for the Cowboys especially last season when they selected seemingly four starters and the future of their foundation. But it will be interesting to see that if the way Tampa Bay arrived as champions has any impact on the decisions the front office will make this offseason. Additionally, here are some important talking points from Tuesday's show, which you can watch here:
Cowboys Angle: Are the 'High-Value' linebackers worth the trouble?
Linebacker has been a hot-button topic for Dallas for as long as I can remember. The recent duo of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have continued to stir up the controversy at the position due to inconsistent play and health. One of the NFL's best duos at linebacker in 2018 have failed to reach the expectations for the past two seasons and have put the front office in a tough situation with so much invested in the position already. That's where Bryan Broaddus comes in. Broaddus believes that you don't have to spend a first-round pick or a high-value selection on the position to find a replacement, especially in a class like this where the top linebacker prospects come with concerns. Instead, he wants to search in the second tier of backers like a Nick Bolton (Missouri) or a Pete Werner (Ohio State) that play hard, tackle well, but may not have the athleticism of the top prospects.
Greatest Debate: Should the Cowboys still consider an offensive tackle at 10th overall?
A debate that will rage on from now, to the draft, and beyond is whether or not the Cowboys have the ability to draft an offensive player with the 10th overall pick. While Florida tight end Kyle Pitts is a fun name to throw into the mix, it is much more realistic to see Dallas take an offensive tackle instead. David Helman mentioned just how alarming it was to see a Kansas City squad struggle so heavily without their offensive tackles and not think back to the similar struggles that Dallas endured in 2020. While there is talent that could help boost Dallas defensively, the value in the 10th pick could boil down to insuring the highly talented offense gets off the ground in 2021 with more depth on the offensive line. Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, and Christian Darrisaw could all make a case for the pick. But is it worth having another historically bad defense next season?
Under the Radar Player: Can USC's Talanoa Hufanga be Dan Quinn's free safety?
One of the priorities in the first offseason with Dan Quinn as defensive coordinator, is getting a true free safety to play alongside Donovan Wilson in the secondary. Bucky Brooks doesn't think Hufanga could be that type of player, but instead be another piece of the rotation at safety if the Cowboys wanted to invest a pick in the middle of the draft. While he played multiple positions in the past and is a versatile defender, Brooks is worried about becoming one dimensional in an NFL defense, especially when Quinn needs to find a ball-hawking centerfielder that could cover over the top of Wilson.
A new addition of The Draft Show goes live Thursday at 10am CT as Dane Brugler, Jeff Cavanaugh, and Kevin 'KT' Turner join Kyle Youmans to celebrate Valentine's Day a little early by giving their early 'draft crush' at each position. Additionally, Brugler's next mock draft will drop on Thursday morning and the group will break down the Cowboys selection as well as the different scenarios that could come in April.