Post-draft needs: NFC East
Biggest remaining needs for the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles and Redskins
This is the sixth part of an eight-part series in which Football Outsiders looks at the biggest holes remaining on each team after the NFL draft. Usually, that means the biggest holes remaining after the draft and free agency, but obviously 2011 is a little different. So some of these holes may not actually be holes if teams re-sign their own players, and other holes will be filled during free agency and won't necessarily last into training camp.
Dallas Cowboys: Defensive back
Dallas' pass rush remained effective in 2010, ranking 11th in adjusted sack rate, up from a 12th-place ranking in 2009. Despite getting similar production up front, the Cowboys dropped from 15th in pass defense DVOA in 2009, when starting cornerbacks Terence Newman and Mike Jenkins were named to the Pro Bowl team, to 28th in 2010. Newman and Jenkins both struggled in 2010, as did free safety Alan Ball, who is expected to be moved back to his natural cornerback position in 2011. Jenkins returns in a starting role, but Newman turns 33 in September and is due an $8 million base salary, making him far from a lock to return in 2011. Dallas may look for a replacement for Newman through free agency, as Orlando Scandrick and 2010 undrafted free agent Bryan McCann are better-suited for nickelback and dime back roles. The Cowboys used a fifth-round pick on University of Buffalo cornerback Josh Thomas.
To read the rest of Football Outsiders' analysis of the Dallas Cowboys, plus the biggest post-draft needs for every other team in the NFC East, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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