The Dallas Cowboys‘ 2021 campaign ended disastrously with a Wild Card Round loss to the San Francisco 49ers. The team seem poised to contend for the Super Bowl, but ended up getting sent packing after their playoff opener. Mike McCarthy will be looking for better results in the playoffs in 2022, should the Cowboys make it, and he’ll certainly be addressing some of the team’s needs during the 2022 NFL Offseason. While the Cowboys led the league in defensive takeaways in 2021 under defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who will be back in 2022, there are still some areas of weakness in the unit. Addressing these issues could be the difference between America’s Team making a deep playoff run or being a one-and-done in the postseason. With that in mind, here is the biggest need the Cowboys must address in the 2022 NFL offseason.
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Cowboys Biggest Need in 2022 NFL Offseason
Adding some depth in the secondary behind Trevon Diggs.
Trevon Diggs emerged as arguably the single best cornerback in football last season, recording a jaw-dropping 11 interceptions on the season. Behind him, however, the Cowboys have a serious lack of star power in the secondary, and some of their defensive backs were getting picked on by opposing QBs as a result.
Anthony Brown is a solid cornerback, but he’s extremely mistake-prone, as fans saw during the Thanksgiving matchup in which Brown was called for four defensive pass interference penalties. Despite the frequent penalties, Brown had a decent year in Dallas, recording three interceptions and 17 pass defenses, so it wouldn’t be all too surprising if the team opted to roll with him again in 2022. However, there also remains the possibility that Brown gets released as a salary cap casualty. The 28-year-old is due to make $5 million in base salary and will represent a $6.5 million cap hit if on the roster in 2022. Parting ways with him may be the financially prudent move for Jerry Jones and Co., opening the door for them to pursue a superior DB in the offseason.
Cornerback isn’t the only position in the secondary that the Cowboys should look to improve upon. Donovan Wilson is the only safety currently under contract for 2022, with the likes of Jayron Kearse, Damontae Kazee, and Malik Hooker all set to hit free agency. Wilson doesn’t inspire much confidence as the lone safety on the roster, so the Cowboys will very likely look to re-sign some of their guys, or address the vacancy via the draft or free agency. While the Cowboys don’t have a ton of cap space, they could likely restructure some contracts in order to pursue a quality free-agent safety in the offseason.
There will be some quality options available at the position this offseason, with former Saints safety Marcus Williams considered to be the cream of the crop in terms of the 2022 free-agent safety class. In addition to Williams, the likes of Bengals’ Jessie Bates, Jets’ Marcus Maye, and Chiefs’ Tyrann Mathieu are all set to hit unrestricted free agency, and could potentially be targets for the Cowboys. If they’re aiming to spend less on a quality defensive playmaker, the Cowboys could look to target a veteran player such as Devin McCourty, Justin Reid, or Kareem Jackson.