The Cowboys have some starting positions to fill in the draft, plus a need for depth. Which positions are teams most likely to be able to fill with decent players via cheap free agents or guys off the street?
Nick: Good question. I think people tend to forget about free agency sometimes because the draft tends to be more exciting. But the idea is to fill needs through free agency (even if that means re-signing your own) and then be able to take best-available players in the draft. It doesn't always work out that way. But I could see a veteran receiver getting added, along with some defensive line help. I wouldn't be surprised to see another try at safety but the last two years – they haven't made it out of the first few months. Will Allen and Brodney Pool didn't last, so who knows if another cheap, older safety would as well.
Rowan:I think the Cowboys found out last year with George Selvie. Sometimes defensive linemen just need a change of scenery and system to blossom, and Selvie found that in Dallas. There are capable pass rushers typically available for relatively cheap, but obviously the production Selvie displayed was rare. I think defensive line, particularly defensive end, and linebacker are typically the two most likely spots, but it's a difficult job at any position to find a cheap, solid contributor in free [embedded_ad] agency.
I keep seeing DeVonte Holloman's name referenced as competing for the strong side linebacker spot or backup to Sean Lee, but no mention of him as competing with Bruce Carter for the weakside linebacker position. Given his background as a safety and his knack for interceptions in the preseason, why is he not considered for the weakside spot?
Nick: : I think everyone will be considered for all spots right now. Nothing is set. If Kyle Wilber makes a push at strong side, then Holloman could be the guy to compete with Carter on the weak side. It's not the same as offensive linemen, but in this case, I could see a scenario of getting your three best linebackers on the field. Justin Durant is still under contract and could figure into the mix, too. But I wouldn't say anything is set right now.
Rowan: I think he'd be considered at both outside linebacker spots, but he played mostly on the strong side last year and it's a good bet the Cowboys will give Bruce Carter every chance to prove he deserves to be a starter in this defense at the weak side. It's a little more up for grabs on the other side. The strong side linebacker in this defense still needs some coverage skills, and Holloman can fit well there.