Even with Tony Romo in the Bag, Cowboys Still Have Huge Holes to Fill

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIApril 9, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 18:   Tony Romo #9 of the Dallas Cowboys runs off the field after a failed conversion during play against the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium on November 18, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys were recently able to free up some cap space and lock down their franchise player by signing Tony Romo. While the quarterback's deal is a step forward for Dallas, that doesn't end the team's to-do list before 2013.

If the season started today, the Cowboys would still be rolling out the same starting offensive line they did last season. That's the very same offensive line that allowed Romo to be sacked 36 times for the second straight year in 2012.

News leaked out yesterday that Dallas is interested in signing former Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston, however, which would be greatly beneficial for the team.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport recently reported on Winston possibly joining the Cowboys, tweeting:

Hear there's mutual interest between ex-#Chiefs RT Eric Winston and the #Cowboys. Dallas also looked into Tyson Clabo. Still have Doug Free

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 8, 2013


While signing the veteran tackle would be smart for Dallas, as Winston would be an instant upgrade over Doug Free, there's much more to do. Both offensive guards, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, were just as big a part of Romo getting sacked 36 times as Free was last year.

Guard could very likely be a position that the Cowboys address in either in the first or second round of this year's draft, but until that happens the need still remains.

No matter how great a team's starting quarterback is, he needs time to set his feet and make throws. Dallas needs to do its best to give Romo more time to do just that in 2013.

Even with the moves the Cowboys made in the secondary in 2012, adding Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr, this area still needs some attention.

Safety Gerald Sensabaugh was released earlier this offseason, so Dallas now has Matt Johnson and Barry Church slated to be the starters for next season. Both players missed significant time in 2012 due to injury, with Johnson missing the entire season.

Safety is likely another position the Cowboys will address in the first two rounds of this year's draft. Considering the current depth chart, it wouldn't be shocking to see Dallas draft a safety like Kenny Vaccaro in the first round.

Safety and offensive line are the biggest positions the Cowboys must address before September, but defensive tackle isn't too far down the list.

Jay Ratliff and Sean Lissemore may very well be the team's starters inside next season, but Dallas could use some depth there. It's probably not a position Jerry Jones and company will target until the draft's middle rounds, depending on how much they trust Lissemore.

Dallas finished with an 8-8 record in 2012 for a reason. Addressing the lingering issues on the offensive and defensive lines and the safety positions through the remainder of free agency and the draft will go a long way towards the Cowboys making a playoff run in 2013.