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Are The Dallas Cowboys In Win Now Mode? Analyzing The Cowboys Offseason Ahead Of The 2023 NFL Draft

Through the first month of the offseason, the Dallas Cowboys front office has made several acquisitions to remain legitimate contenders within the NFC Conference. While some may say the Cowboys have been rather conservative thus far in free agency, Dallas has already solidified areas of concern early this off-season. Fans should believe strongly in Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Will McClay's ability to restore the Cowboys roster ahead of the 2023 NFL season.

Solidifying The D In Big D: The Cowboys Retained Dan Quinn

Dan Quinn has arguably been the most valuable assistant coach in the NFL. He took over a historically bad Cowboy defense led by former DC Mike Nolan, whose defense surrendered a franchise record in points allowed the year prior. In Dan Quinn’s first season in Dallas, he helped the defense improve to 8th in points allowed and 1st in takeaways.

Quinn’s defensive turnaround prompted high interest from NFL teams looking to hire a new head coach in the last two years. Ultimately, he decided to return to Mike McCarthy’s staff. The defense again improved in key areas this past season, including leading the NFL in takeaways for a second consecutive year.

Free Agency: Cowboys Renew Donovan Wilson (3 years / $21 million)

Since Donovan Wilson was drafted in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, his growth and development have been remarkable.

Wilson’s hard-hitting style preceded him during his days at Texas A&M. However; he’s become a spark plug for the Dallas Cowboys defense. At 6’0 and just over 200 pounds, Wilson plays much bigger than his listed size.

This past season, Wilson led the team in tackles (101). He added five sacks, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in 17 games. He is an essential entity in Dan Quinn’s dime package.

Leighton Vander Esch Inked (2 years / $8 million)

Leighton Vander Esch hit the scene as a rookie and quickly became a defensive star for the Dallas Cowboys' defense. Unfortunately, it has been tough for LVE to recreate that same success since that first year in the league.

LVE has played a solid role in Dan Quinn’s scheme over the last two seasons. It has allowed Quinn to use Micah Parsons in a greater role as an edge rusher. LVE has also been steady versus the run and is considered a plus starter at linebacker.

Many pundits penciled in LB as a need for the Cowboys this offseason, either in free agency or the NFL Draft. With LVE returning, you can draft another LB who can learn the ropes from LVE.

Cowboys Make A Big Move By Adding Stephon Gilmore To Their Secondary

Ahead of free agency and the NFL Draft, the Cowboys had a need in their secondary, and they answered that need with a trade for Stephon Gilmore but could still add another depth piece at the position via the 2023 NFL Draft.

Dallas didn’t lose much of anything to acquire Stephon Gilmore. Acquiring Gilmore for just a 5th-round compensatory pick is exceptional. Gilmore will be a one-year rental for Dallas and receive a base salary of $8M. Fundamentally, this appears as though The Dallas Cowboys are in win-now mode. Per PFF, Gilmore was among the highest-graded cornerbacks last season (79.2).

The Cowboy's Addition Of Brandin Cooks Via Trade Is A Massive Move

Last offseason, Dallas brass decided to part ways with Amari Cooper, a move that many viewed as questionable. It eventually proved costly as Dak Prescott had the worst year of his professional career.

There have been countless discussions regarding DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. joining forces with Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb in Dallas, the addition of Brandin Cooks is an equally good acquisition and arguably a better fit to lineup opposite of Lamb in the Dallas offense.

Brandin Cooks is 29 years old and has recorded 1,000-yard seasons in two of the last three seasons. Brandin Cooks is just 1 of 2 players in NFL history to record at least 1,000 yards receiving with four different NFL teams. He will provide consistency at the position and is a field-stretching WR who can open things up for CeeDee Lamb and other Cowboy receivers.


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