With Travis Fredrick announcing his retirement from the NFL Monday evening, how big of a priority has the center position become for Dallas?
Mason: It goes without saying that Travis Frederick retiring is a major blow to the Cowboys. Luckily for them, they just recently re-signed Joe Looney who by default will fill his role. He actually did very well in the same situation when Frederick had to sit out all of 2018, so I am not too worried about his ability to be the starting center. The Cowboys do not have to go crazy trying to find a different replacement. Having a young backup in Connor McGovern, who they drafted last year, just in case it is very nice insurance as well.
Juwan: You would think after losing a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro at a position would mean that need would shoot to the top of the list. But I don’t see it that way. Bringing Joe Looney back is now a bigger resigning than it was a couple of weeks ago. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for nearly 1,500 yards with Looney commanding the middle of the line and he is surrounded by a plethora of talented linemen this year. You also have your third-round pick from 2019, Conner McGovern, who has some experience at playing center if you wanted to go that route. I wouldn’t make feeling Fredrick’s void a huge priority, but I wouldn’t be opposed to giving a late-round flyer to a developmental center.
What grade would you give the Cowboys’ for their offseason moves thus far?
Mason: So far my grade would be a B, maybe even a B+. The signing of Mike McCarthy and the complete change of the coaching staff was a nice and refreshing start. The losses of guys like Byron Jones, Robert Quinn, and especially Travis Frederick hurt, but I really like the signings of Gerald McCoy and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and feel they were much-needed additions. Not to mention, they were able to bring back the two biggest free agents they had in Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper. I would still like to see how they address CB and WR throughout the rest of free agency and the draft, but as of right now I have enjoyed how they have gone about this off-season.
Juwan: I would give it a B. It has been solid. You found upgrades for Maliek Collins, Jeff Heath and Jason Witten. Though losing Byron Jones is the biggest of the holes to fill, there are talented corners in this draft with the Cowboys holding the 17th pick. I’m still not opposed to bringing back a veteran like Brandon Carr to act as a bridge for a young corner. Throw in the resigning of Amari Cooper and Sean Lee and I believe Dallas did a solid job of still finding ways to fill out a competitive roster.
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