The Dallas Cowboys will be making a pass rusher a priority this offseason. Before they can look at outside options, they must first do some roster evaluation and determine who stays and who goes from the current team. The Cowboys have two important players hitting free agency and the chances they both return are slim as Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain wait to hear their fate in Dallas.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the chance Hardy returns to the Cowboys is slim simply because no one in the front office is really taking the time to address his contract status. The defensive end was a controversial signing from the start and he did not live up to the expectations while rumors of tardiness and partying circled around his name. At the start of the offseason Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett seemed keen on keeping the pass rusher, but now that does not appear to be the favored move.
"I thought Greg did some good things for us on the field, defended the run well at times, impacted the quarterback at different times during the game," Garrett said, via the Dallas Morning News. "Don't want to get into any personnel decisions right now."
With Hardy not coming back, does that open the door for McClain? Not much has been said regarding the future of McClain who was another risky signing. He did step up to the plate and produce for the Cowboys, but the chances of a long-term deal are slim. According to FOX Sports, if Hardy is willing to take another one-year deal with a sort of "show me" attitude, he could come back in 2016.
For Dallas, they will make a lot of moves in the draft as they are predicted to focus a lot on defense despite the needs for a quarterback and a running back. While many believe the Cowboys could select a quarterback with the No.4 pick, if Joey Bosa drops, he could be the favored move. ESPN's Todd Archer believes if Dallas can get their hands on the Ohio State star, they should not hesitate at the move. Bosa along with Randy Gregory could both fill the voids of Hardy and McClain if need be.
The Cowboys will likely explore the free agency market as well. A reunion with Justin Durant could be an option. They might try to take a swing at a deal for Bruce Irvin and Muhammad Wilkerson while no one will be able to touch Von Miller. The Cowboys need a pass rusher as the final piece to their defensive puzzle and this will be the year they make moves for the short-term and long-term outlook.