The 2014 NFL Draft is officially a wrap, which means offseason additions are just about complete. There will be some small free agent additions here and there, but training camp rosters are just about set. With that in mind, we are back to review each of the 49ers 2014 opponents. Each team has gained and lost numerous players, so this series will help get you more familiar with the rosters of each opponent.
Heading into the offseason, it was pretty obvious to most everybody that the Dallas Cowboys needed to do some budgetary spring cleaning. I like this metaphor, because it makes Jerry Jones seem like a hoarder. And this offseason, he had to confront that reality. The Cowboys discarded players left and right in free agency - and while they did a good job of making up for some of it with smart FA signings and some interesting draft picks, I've got to imagine that their budget cap problems will continue to haunt them. At the time of writing, the Cowboys currently have $5,546,689 in cap space according to Over the Cap.
Additions: DE Jeremy Mincey, NT Terrell McClain, DT Henry Melton, QB Brandon Weeden.
While cutting Ware made sense once he told them that he wouldn't take a major pay cut, it really hurts the defense. He had his worse season to date last year, battling injuries, age and a position change under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. His departure is also compounded by the fact that the Cowboys also lost Hatcher, who had 11 sacks last season. With Irvin also cut, the Cowboys headed into the offseason with a tattered DL. The addition of Melton does help, of course, help shore up the DL, but it wasn't enough. He put up pretty good pass rush numbers in Chicago, most notably in 2011 when he had seven sacks in 15 games and in 2012 when he had six sacks in 14 games.
16. Zack Martin, OT/G, Notre Dame
34. Demarcus Lawrence, DE, Boise State
119. Anthony Hitchens, OLB, Iowa
146. Devin Street, WR, Pittsburgh
231. Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford
238. Will Smith, MLB, Texas Tech
248. Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
251. Ken Bishop, DT, Northern Illinois
254. Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon.
Without touching the Johnny Manziel thing with the Grinch's thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole, I have just a few comments about the Cowboys' draft. I'll start by prefacing that a friend of mine is a Cowboys fan (gross, I know) and he was pretty happy about the draft. I asked him about the fact that, unless Bishop comes out of nowhere, the Cowboys probably didn't do enough on the DL. He, however, is really stoked about DE Lawrence. And, I can't blame him. The Cowboys gave up a third-round pick to select him, so they obviously like him. He has experience both inside and outside, but will likely excel as a pass rusher in the NFL. He is paired with Hitchens, who is a bit undersized, but has a natural nose for the ball.
The selection of Martin in the first, however, was probably enough to help out on the OL. After selecting Travis Frederick last year in the first, the Cowboys went back to the OL well. Street, the fifth round selection, should also give Tony Romo some help on the outside.