FRISCO, Texas -- It’s the third day of the Dallas Cowboys' offseason and there’s so much to wonder.
Away we go:
* With it looking more and more certain that Jon Gruden will be the Oakland Raiders' next coach, some have already connected the dots between Gruden and Cowboys special-teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. They coached together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I wonder why the Cowboys would let Bisaccia out of his contract. They didn’t do that for linebackers coach Matt Eberflus last year when there was the possibility that he could become a coordinator. They didn’t do it for Jerome Henderson a few years ago and they didn’t do it for Tony Sparano when Sean Payton wanted him to be the coordinator with the New Orleans Saints back in 2006. Now, if Oakland wanted to give up some kind of compensation for Bisaccia, the Cowboys should listen intently.
* I wonder if the Cowboys have any regret with how they handled the Ronald Leary situation. No, not last offseason. They could not come close to offering what Leary got from the Denver Broncos. I wonder if they regret just giving away his job in 2015 to La'el Collins. The Cowboys liked what they got out of Collins at right tackle this season. Could they have used him as a right tackle in his first couple of years competing with Doug Free and left Leary alone? They could have signed Leary to a solid deal as a restricted free agent and been able to keep the group intact with Collins growing into the right tackle spot. Jonathan Cooper was adequate at left guard this season. He wasn’t nearly as good as Leary and struggled without Tyron Smith at left tackle. Pass protection was an issue for a good chunk of the season. Leary could have helped.
* I wonder if the Cowboys will go with Rod Smith as Ezekiel Elliott's backup in 2018 and look to the later rounds of the draft to find another running back. They finished the year with Trey Williams on the practice squad and signed him to a futures deal. Alfred Morris is set to become a free agent and should look for a better opportunity elsewhere. Smith had a productive season, carrying 55 times for 232 yards and four touchdowns. He caught 19 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown. The Cowboys know they are going to give the ball to Elliott a ton, so spending anything in free agency or a high or midround pick does not seem to be the best asset management. Smith showed he has some upside.
* Let’s keep it in the running back family for a second. Fullback Keith Smith is set to be a restricted free agent. The Cowboys are looking at a tender amount of about $2 million for Smith. That’s a pretty hefty price for a fullback, even one who has performed as well as Smith has the last couple of years. I wonder if the Cowboys look to sign him to a multiyear deal in order to keep his cap number down in 2018 while giving him a little bump with bonus money. It’s what the Cowboys have done in recent years with guys like Chris Jones and Jeff Heath with a little success.
* I wonder how hard the Cowboys will look at the quarterback spot this offseason, either with a veteran free agent or in the draft. It has nothing to do with wondering about Dak Prescott's spot. He’s the quarterback, without question. I wonder if the Cowboys would want to have a different backup option than Cooper Rush. He had a great preseason and forced the Cowboys to keep him when they really had no intention of doing so entering training camp. But is he a potential long-term answer if something were to happen to Prescott? Would they want to find a veteran to push Prescott a little more? Again, I’m not advocating for anything but wondering how hard they look at the spot.