Dallas Cowboys: Grading big free agency signings so far

NFL 2021. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
NFL 2021. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /
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Dak Prescott (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
Dak Prescott (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have had a busy free agency period and here are the grades for all their major additions so far this offseason

The Dallas Cowboys missed the NFL Playoffs for the second year in a row after replacing Jason Garrett with Mike McCarthy and setting the expectation that they would contend in 2020. The Cowboys struggles were primarily on the defensive side of the ball early in the season and once Dak Prescott went down it was an uphill battle to contend in the division.

The defense was among the worst in the league and after the loss of Prescott, the offense could no longer hold up in shootouts the way it had in early wins against the Falcons and Giants. It was clear that the Cowboys had plenty of talent on offense with Prescott in place but the defense was in need of a massive upgrade and that has been the focus of this offseason.

With defense being the first priority, the Cowboys have made a number of moves to either bring back players that did well in 2020 or bring in outside free agents who should be able to make an impact right way. Here are the grades for those moves with an obvious focus on additions to the defense.

Dak Prescott, QB (Dallas Cowboys)

Grade: A+

The Dallas Cowboys finally ended what seems like years of speculation by giving Dak Prescott a mega-contract worth $160 million over six years. The deal in actuality is for four years as it can become voidable after that time but Prescott still becomes one of the highest paid players in the NFL.

This means of course that Prescott should be the Cowboys’ starter for the next four years and we may be getting ready for a new round of “will the Cowboys extend their QB” when he is 31 years old. By nearly all statistical measures he has been an outstanding quarterback for the Cowboys and though he struggled with turnovers before his injury, Prescott was one of the few reasons they were a competitive team.

The risks associated with this move is if Prescott can be the same type of player that was fearless in the pocket and able to make and extend big plays with his legs after his injury. Reports suggest that he should be back to full strength but there is always the lingering question if he can be the same player mentally.

If Prescott can go back to being the player that was on pace to throw for 6,000 yards in 2020, or even a reasonable facsimile of that, the Cowboys should be the favorites to win the NFC East. Any further progression will be on the defense but at least they have the most important position decided for the foreseeable future.