With the 16th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys select …
I don’t know who the Cowboys will take, but I know what they will take. Defense. Right?
After the torture of watching the Cowboys surrender an NFL-worst and franchise-record 6,645 yards (or, about 2,300 more than the Seattle Seahawks) and 432 points last season, there’s no doubt which side of the ball needs the most help. Yes, still.
We can worry about Tony Romo’s back and Scott Linehan’s influence all we want, but if the Cowboys don’t improve on defense there’s no reason to believe 2014 will be anything more than another rocky, frustrating ride to 8-8. And whether it’s Monte Kiffin’s scheme or Rod Marinelli’s blitzes, it won’t matter if the Cowboys are again trotting out players like Jeff Heath and Brady Poppinga and Jarius Wynn.
Better players equal better coaches and better results and, let’s face it, the Cowboys’ defense has been vastly under-talented the last four years. And, gulp, it might get worse before it gets better.
Jason Hatcher’s desire to cash in will be his ticket out of Dallas. An aging, declining DeMarcus Ware might be cut. Sean Lee’s coming off another injury, as are Morris Claiborne and Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys need help on defense, and they need it yesterday.
I know the Cowboys drafted Claiborne in the first round and spent $50 million on Brandon Carr, but it's not enough. They need linemen who can pressure quarterbacks, and safeties who can both tackle and cover.
It’s too early to pin-point names, though that process will begin at this weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine.
It’s past time, however, for the Cowboys to fix their ailing defense.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.