As Free Agency Dust Settles, Cowboys Still Have Holes to Fill

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With the initial frenzy apparently over, are the Cowboys better off now than when free agency started two weeks ago?

Hard to see how that answer is anything but a resounding … no.

Going: Two linebackers (Bruce Carter and Justin Durant) with another (Rolando McClain) seemingly on his way out, their special teams leader (Dwayne Harris), a cornerback (Sterling Moore), a backup tackle (Jermey Parnell) and, of course, the NFL’s leading rusher (DeMarco Murray).

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Coming: An elite pass rusher (Greg Hardy), a veteran running back (Darren McFadden) and a bunch of mediocre names (Jasper Brinkley, Andrew Gachkar, Jed Collins, Ray Agnew and Corey White) who won’t exactly titillate the needle of Cowboys fans.

Sure they managed to keep Dez Bryant, but the Cowboys’ free-agent balance sheet looks a bit in the red. Right?

And though at this point it’s like finding crumbs in the corner, they still must fill holes.

Without Parnell, they need a dependable swing linemen in case of injury to Tyron Smith or Doug Free. Their cast of potential replacements has never played a snap in a regular-season game.

Without Harris, they need a kick returner. Yes, he was average in 2014 but fans underrate Harris’ hands and decision-making and his plays making tackle on special teams. Without an addition, the Cowboys will trust the return duties to maybe Lance Dunbar or even Cole Beasley.

Without Murray, they need a feature back. This could obviously come in the draft, but their current stable amasses to only a committee of underachievers.

And with Morris Claiborne’s confidence and health uncertain and Moore in Tampa, I’d like to see them add a quality cornerback.

Before those holes are adequately filled, you have to sit here on March 24 and say the Cowboys today aren’t a better football team than they were when the season ended in January.

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 lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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