Fix the Cowboys
I'd like to start this post off by saying this is what I would do not what I think will be done.
Pre Free Agency
Don't resign - 6, 4 starters
Alan Ball - project failed
This is probably the hardest decision. Taking a quick look at this list I think I'd probably have to keep one of the DE's. I'm going with Bowen because he can also contribute as a pass rusher inside in 40 fronts. I actually like Sensabaugh but maybe you can find something better. I also like Koiser but he just can't stay healthy and isn't getting any younger.
Cuts - 5, 5 starters
Marion Barber - cut him now and save 24 million over the rest of his contract.
Keith Brooking - save around 2 million
Marc Columbo - save 17 million in base salary over the course of his deal
Leonard Davis - Save 12 million over last 3 years...owe him 6 still from bonuses.
Roy Williams - Save over 30 million over next 4 years...he's nice player but money can be better spent.
Terrence Newman - he's deal declines over the rest of his years...but he needs to restructure. If not i'd cut him because he isn't worth near 10 million a year with his performance...I do like him tho. Think he should able to play as a nickel cb for atleast 3-4 more years at a high level.
Right away you see 11 roster spots open up. 9 of them are starting positions...that is about as close to blowing up a team as you'll see nowadays. The big reason I make all these cuts is because this is an uncapped year and this is when you can rid yourself of bad contracts. Barbers and Roy Williams is the worst so they have to go although they aren't awful players by any means. Brooking/Columbo/LD are just past their primes and aren't worth the dollars they are getting anymore. Only money we have going out is a new deal to Free....it's essential we get him back...versatility is key with him...I love him at LT...but he can also play right effectively too.
Jared Gaither, BAL
Matt Light, NE
Jermon Bushrod, NO
Carl Nicks, NO
Logan Mankins, NE
Justin Blalock, ATL
Johnny Jolly, GB - legal issues
Cullen Jenkins, GB
Antoine Bethea, IND
Bernard Pollard, HOU
Need 2 OL out of that class. And the hardest thing I think that there is to project right now is what defense we are going to run. I think of likely hires and they all seem to run a 4-3 defense. That said I'm not going to go deep into the DL guys...if we run a 40 front obviously things will change. But we definitely need some more bodies on the DL because we let older pieces go.
One thing to keep in mind is the CB in FA. It is a amazing this year with talent...if you wanted to move Newman you could add another body from FA...but cost would likely be the same if not more.
The safety class is pretty weak...so maybe this is why you keep sensabaugh around because don't really see anyone that sticks out...that said a body is going to have to be signed whether it's sensy or someone else.
We have to pick up 2 starting OL...preferably a OT and a OG. That said if we see a RT we like in the draft going inside twice would make sense.
We also need to add a body to the DL. Depending on what front we go with it should probably be a DE in a 30 or a DT in a 40. I have a hunch Shaun Rogers will be cut after this season...I have no problem with adding him to rotate with Brent. I am moving Ratliff to DE if I stay in 30 front and probably have him and Bowen starting. That said tons of 5-techs in this draft so you could easily get by with drafting one early and starting them from day 1.
Last food for thought is LBers. Lee is starting regardless...and I can't see James leaving until the next year. That said if we go to a 40 front we are going to be looking for a pure Will backer. There are a few of them in FA to look at. Either way I don't see a starter getting added if we stick with the 34.
I'm going to assume we finish with the 4th pick here...moderately conservative...but this should be about right. If we pick #1 idc how talented you think this team is...there is a deep seeded problem and rebuilding is very necessary. That is why I'd go Luck..he gives us a bigger window to win than with Romo..and while I love Romo we can't just look to win in the next 2 years...
Patrick Peterson*, CB, LSU - I think he can be a difference maker at safety early...if you get a shot at him you have to go with him. It'll depend on who picks first Dallas or Detroit.
Marcell Dareus*, DE/DT, Alabama - This guy is also just one of those players that when you put on the tape he looks like he is just on another level physically. He looks like a man amongst boys. He isn't quite the caliber that Suh was coming out...but right behind him I'd say. If we miss out on Peterson he is a fine consolation prize.
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska - Lastly I love Prince on the field...think he'll come in and contribute early in his career. I love him as a press corner and think he's the total package. That said pick 4 might be a little high for him being that he isn't suppose to test out as an elite prospect...so I nice guy to look to move down for. Hopefully QB's like Mallett and Locker up their status's so that moving into the top 5 has substance...because doesn't look like a OT will be a position for teams to move up.
2nd Round Targets
Mike Pouncey, C/G, Florida
Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU
Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
When I break down this draft class I see there is dirty starting value in the 30-40 range. These guys probably won't make it to the pro bowl...but they should be able to contribute early as all three have starting experience on good teams for multiple years. RT or RG looks likely here. Outside shot at CB if we go elsewhere early. However I think that the top DL will be off the board and it's a bit of a drop off after the top tier of DL go.
3rd on down
Jaiquawn Jarrett, FS, Temple
Titus Young, WR, Boise State
Benjamin Ijalana, G/OT, Villanova
Cedric Thornton, DE/DT, Central Arkansas
Caleb King*, RB, Georgia
I noted in a previous post that I liked both of these players based just off of what i've read this year. Both guys I'd be comfortable asking to start I think. Jarrett is underrated and I like him more than anyone except Deunta Williams but I think Jarrett later is a better value.
Lastly you could probably add a WR and RB late along with a LB.
That said here is the changes I'd make from 2010-2011
Patrick Peterson - Alan Ball
Sam Young - Alex Barron
Cedric Thornton - Jason Hatcher
Carl Nicks - Leonard Davis
Logan Mankins - Kyle Koiser
Bernard Pollard - Gerald Sensabaugh
Johnny Jolly - Marcus Spears
Caleb King - Marion Barber
Sean Lee - Keith Brooking
Joseph Barksdale - Marc Columbo
Sam Hurd/Titus Young - Roy Williams
Main theme here. Retool OL. Pick a defense and build it stronger up the middle. Need to get a playmaker at safety.
Designs by me
[00:37] <toonster> i mean, i can talk dirty