While the Dallas Cowboys made many big additions to their roster this offseason, specifically to their defense, there were also some notable losses.
Here’s a look at some of the teams biggest free agency departures and how it will affect them in the upcoming 2021 season.
After a fantastic 10-year career, Sean Lee is retiring from the NFL. Most fans were aware that Lee was approaching his final years but were still left shocked with the announcement this season.
Lee was a two-time Pro Bowler and made one All-Pro team all while staying in a Cowboys uniform for the entirety of his career.
The majority of NFL fans will remember Lee mostly for struggling with injuries, but Cowboys faithful will remember him as the leader and face of the Cowboys defense for the past decade.
While losing Lee’s talent and experience hurts the Cowboys defense which is already struggling, they can look forward to the next generation of linebackers in Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch and Micah Parsons.
Much like his former teammate Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie was a promising young talent the Cowboys would have liked to develop over the years. Unfortunately for them Awuzie is headed to Cincinnati, leaving Dallas after four seasons.
While Awuzie played very poorly this year, as did much of the Cowboys secondary, there was much to like about him as a player particularly in his 2018-2019 showings. He was perfect by no means, but he certainly had the potential to become a staple corner in the league.
As of now, the Cowboys have Anthony Brown standing in place at RCB and Trevon Diggs at LCB with Lewis mostly taking on the offense’s number one receiver. That isn’t a unit that exactly scares any offense, but when they were healthy they played well.
Now that Awuzie is on his way out of Dallas, the remaining defensive back unit is going to have to adjust and find ways to make stops and most importantly stay healthy.
Awuzie was by no means a shutdown corner, but the lack of depth the Cowboys are now facing at the position is becoming a larger concern by the day.
Although Xavier Woods was a liability in coverage, he could make a tackle when necessary in the open field. This past season he missed less than 8% of his open field opportunities, putting him in the NFL’s top 30% for that statistic among defensive backs.
Fortunately the Cowboys are not in shambles as Donovan Wilson has also shown major promise for the future, who missed just 5.3% of his open field tackle opportunities.
The addition of Damontae Kazee has also provided some insurance in terms of depth at the safety position. Kazee also provides an advantage in coverage, as he led the league with interceptions in 2017 with seven.
After four years in Dallas, Woods is headed to the Minnesota Vikings on a one-year deal.
When Dak Prescott went down early in the season, Andy Dalton answered the call to action and stepped up for the Cowboys.
Though he was not perfect and won only 4 games as a starter, Dalton showed heart and played well in the games he started. Above all he proved his value and talent as quarterback in the NFL, whether as a starter or backup.
In the 2021 season, Dalton tallied 2170 passing yards and 14 touchdowns with a passer rating of 87.3, proving to be a capable offensive leader when necessary.
Statistically speaking this wasn’t a season that blew anyone away, but considering the state of the Cowboys roster and everything they faced this year, Dalton’s 4-5 record as a starter was impressive in a sense.
Although it’s not a major loss, not having Dalton on the bench as a safety blanket in the event that Prescott suffers an injury hurts the Cowboys. Garrett Gilbert, who is second on the QB depth chart is no pushover, but there is a clear difference between h.
If all is well with Prescott then Dalton’s departure shouldn’t have much of an effect on the Cowboys if any, but considering how severe the injury was a reaggravation is a real possibility. At that point, the loss of Dalton would truly hurt.
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