After a strong regular season and an untimely playoff finish, the Dallas Cowboys are gearing up for another strong season in 2017. The Cowboys are far from a “rebuilding” stage, but must replace key losses to remain competitive in a tight NFC East.
While the status of Tony Romo dominated the headlines, the Cowboys lost key starters on both sides of the ball. The biggest loss was offensive lineman Doug Free, who announced his retirement after 10 NFL seasons. Free was part of an offensive line that was the NFL’s best in 2016, finishing with just under 2,400 rushing yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Cowboys were decimated in the defensive backfield by free agency. Barry Church, J.J. Wilcox, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr all signed with other clubs in the offseason, leaving the Cowboys extremely thin in the secondary. That quartet combined for 171 tackles and five interceptions last year, making it clear what Dallas’ biggest needs are heading into this year’s draft.
Dallas Cowboys 2017 Draft Information
Pick Number: 28th overall
Total Picks: Seven
Last Year’s First Rounder: Ezekiel Elliot
Biggest Needs: DB, DE, OL, Backup QB
Expected to Select: The experts all have Dallas selecting a defensive back, but there’s no unanimous choice at the end of the round. LSU’s Tre’Davious White is a popular choice, but some say Washington’s Kevin King is a stronger prospect. Still, you can’t go wrong with a pass rusher, and SB Nation projects UCLA end Takkarist McKinley as a possible choice. Personally, I think USC corner Adoree Jackson is a dynamic talent that would be a great fit in Dallas.