- Gary Horton, Scouts Inc.
In early February, ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper released his team needs by conference, first the NFC version, then the AFC version. With the 2009-10 season in the books -- congrats, New Orleans Saints -- Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. is doing the same. While Kiper's articles focus on college players who may be good fits in Rounds 1-3 of the 2010 NFL draft, Horton focuses on the three key needs for each squad, by conference. This is the NFC version. To access the AFC version, click below. Keep checking back throughout the busy offseason and NFL draft season for more information from a variety of Insider voices on team needs, draft buzz and more.
NFC | AFC
1. OT: The Cowboys are old and slow on the perimeter of the offensive line and they are really susceptible to speed rushers off the edge. Both tackles, Flozell Adams and Marc Colombo, lack quickness and they are near the end of their careers. Backup OT Doug Free could possibly step into this lineup, but even if he turns out to be a good player the Cowboys need better and more athletic guys at both OT positions.
2. DS: Starters Ken Hamlin and Gerald Sensabaugh are solid veterans who do not make a lot of mistakes, but they also don't make a lot of impact plays. They need a free safety with range who is a big-play difference-maker -- and in today's NFL those guys can make a defense!
3. WR: Roy Williams has not lived up to his $9 million a year salary, but the Cowboys did get good years out of surprise WR Miles Austin and No. 3 WR Patrick Crayton, and they have high hopes for young Kevin Ogletree ... but where is the guy that holds it all together, is on the same page as QB Tony Romo, and makes the clutch catch when they need one?
Other needs: ILB, CB, DT
You can think of this as the ultimate primer for the NFL offseason, or at least the NFC offseason: Gary Horton of Scouts Inc. breaks down every single squad in the NFC and tells you each squad's top three needs to address, be it via draft or free agency.