IRVING, Texas --During last year's lockout, the Cowboys entered the draft without any holes filled due to a postponed free agent period.
This year it's back to a normal business schedule -- free agency before draft -- and owner/GM Jerry Jones says the club has more cash under the cap than they expected despite so much dead money created by waiving veterans last summer.
"We will use it," Jones said.
Head coach Jason Garrett says teams always would like to narrow their needs list by the draft in late April.
"In a perfect world, what you want to try to do is go into the draft without needs," Garrett said in a Year-End Special TV interview with Brad Sham. "I think you tend to draft worse when you say, "I think we *need *to draft this position or that position. And regardless of how objective you want to make that process, you invariably say, 'OK, we have a need here, so maybe we bump a player up ahead of this guy when they're really probably pretty similar.
"In an ideal situation you want to address your needs prior to the draft. Hard to do that, but you're trying to do that so you can draft as purely as possible. Couldn't do that last year."
No matter what the Cowboys do in free agency, they're likely to have a few draft needs left over -- whether it's a pass rusher, cover guy, safety, offensive lineman or receiver.
This year, at least they'll be able to shorten the list by then.