After finishing 8-8 in each of the last three seasons under head coach Jason Garrett, the Dallas Cowboys entered the 2014 NFL season with one last chance to save their coach’s job. Whether the team rallied around their coach or was just tired of finishing at .500 every season, the Cowboys significantly improved in 2014 finishing with a 12-4 record.
The Cowboys season didn’t start out well at all. In their first regular season game of 2014, the Cowboys lost 28-17 to the San Francisco 49ers in front of all their fans at AT&T Stadium. Well, things picked up quickly for the Cowboys winning their next six in a row including a 30-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in CenturyLink Field in Seattle, making the Cowboys the only team in 2014 to go into Seattle and upset the Super Bowl XLVIII champs.
The Cowboys victory in Seattle didn’t come as too much of a surprise—Dallas was unstoppable on the road this past season. In fact, the Cowboys were 8-0 on the road in 2014, with all four of their losses coming in front of the home crowd.
The Cowboys won the NFC East and made their way to the postseason for the first time since 2009. In the Wild Card round, Dallas hosted the Detroit Lions. The game was pretty clearly rigged by the NFL, and at the end of the game the Cowboys mounted a comeback to beat the Lions 24-20. The Cowboys weren’t so lucky in the Divisional Round, and a late drop by Dez Bryant (which also caused some controversy) resulted in a loss to the Green Bay Packers 26-21 in Lambeau Field.
Overall, the Cowboys had an excellent 2014 season; and if they can keep the majority of their roster together for 2015 they could be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The Cowboys could make some big moves in free agency this season, so selecting some young talent to fill in the voids would go a long way in Dallas. Here are the Dallas Cowboys biggest needs heading into the 2015 NFL Draft:
Wide Receiver: The Cowboys will most likely be slapping a franchise tag on Dez Bryant soon, so one of the best receivers in the NFL will remain in Dallas for the 2015 season. This is great news for the Cowboys, but they could certainly use a little more help from the other guys. Tony Romo needs all the help he can get, Terrance Williams is simply not consistent enough, and Beasley is no more than a slot receiver. The Cowboys really need a good receiver to line up alongside and to help draw coverage off of Bryant in 2015. Look for the Cowboys to address this need in the draft.
Defensive Tackle: Losing Demarcus Ware was a huge blow to the Cowboys pass rush. The Cowboys had a very solid defense in 2014, but their defensive line was not part of that success. Tyrone Crawford should still have a spot come September, but Henry Melton and Nick Hayden were flat out horrible and not worth their own contracts. Both of these men will most likely be out of a job by the end of this offseason, so the Cowboys need to start looking for their replacements. Chris Whaley and Davon Coleman are not ready to start, which leaves the draft as the Cowboys best chance of finding a defensive lineman who will be ready to play come Week One. This is by far the Cowboys biggest need this offseason, so look for them to spend their early round pick on big men to bolster their defensive line.