Let's take a look at the likely roster, and look at where the holes will be in a year.
Quarterback - Need a new backup QB to replace Orton by 2015. Low level draft priority for 2014
- Romo is signed through 2019, but the Cowboys could manage releasing him in 4-5 years if they have a successor by then.
- Orton signed through 2014
- NEED - QB to replace Orton as Backup QB in 2015
Running Back - Only Tanner will be a Free Agent in 2014. NOt a 2014 Priority
- Murray signed through 2014
- Tanner is RFA next year
- Dunbar signed through 2015
- Randle signed through 2016
Wide Receiver - All current receivers signed to multi-year contracts except Armstrong. Not a priority in 2014
- Bryant signed through 2014, but Cowboys may try to extend in during the season next year.
- Austin signed through 2016, but could be released in 2014 or 2015 to make room for Bryant Contract
- Williams signed through 2016
- Harris signed through 2014.
- Beasley signed through 2014
Tightend - All except Rosario signed to multiyear deals. Low priority in 2014. If Rosario is good in 2013, another 1 year deal for him is likely.
- Witten signed through 2017
- Hanna signed through 2015
- Escobar signed through 2016
Offensive Tackle - 3 main rotation signed to multi-year deals. Priority for 2014 depends heavily upon the performance of Free this season. 2014 Priority is Medium.
- Smith signed through 2015
- Free signed through 2014
- Parnell signed through 2014
Offensive Guard - Arkin has been a disappointment, and other aging Free Agent players will likely be cut either this year or next year. Priority for 2014 is HIGH.
- Leary signed through 2014
- Livings signed through 2016, but likely to be cut this year or in March
- Bernadeau signed through 2015
- Arkin signed through 2014, but likely to be cut if veteran signed.
- Unknown Veteran Free Agent may be signed to 1-year deal
Offensive Center - 3 Centers signed to multi-year deals. Not a 2014 priority
- Frederick signed through 2017
- Costa signed through 2014
- Bernadeau signed through 2015
- Cook - likely to be released before season starts
Place Kicker - Bailey in last year of Contract. Priority for 2014 is HIGH.
- Bailey will be Restricted Free Agent in 2014. The Cowboys will likely sign him to a contract extension during the upcoming season.
Punter - Jones is in final year of contract. Priority for 2014 is Medium.
- Since Jones was injured last year, the Cowboys will likely allow him to finish the year healthy before signing him to multi-year contract extension if he plays well.
Long-snapper - Multi-year contract in place. Not a 2014 Priority.
- Ladouceur has been perfect for 8 years, and is signed for 5 more seasons.
Defensive End - Spencer will be a Free Agent in 2014, and the Cowboys are prohibited from Franchising him for 3 straight years. Priority for 2014 is HIGH.
- Ware is signed through 2017
- Wilbur is signed through 2015
- Crawford is signed through 2015
- Bass is signed through 2014
- Selvie is on a 1-year deal.
Defensive Tackle - If Ratliff doesn't perform well this year, this may be the highest Priority on the team. Hatcher will be a Free Agent in 2014. Priority for 2014 is HIGH.
- Ratliff signed through 2017, but last 3 year salaries are prohibitive. Ratliff will be released no later than 2015. The Cowboys cannot afford to pay his salary in 2015-2017 unless he takes a pay cut.
- Hatcher will be a Free Agent. Look for the Cowboys to try to extend him during the season if he is playing well.
- Lissemore is signed through 2016
- Bass - see above
- Hayden is signed to a 1-year deal.
Outside Linebacker - have many players signed to multi-year deals. Not a 2014 priority
- Carter signed through 2014
- Durant signed through 2014
- Holloman signed through 2016
- Sims playing on 1-year deal.
- Albright will be a Free Agent in 2014
Middle Linebacker - Sean Lee is in final year of contract . 2014 Priority is HIGH.
- Lee will likely be signed to contract extension during the season to prevent him from becoming a Free Agent. The Cowboys could use the Franchise Tag on him if a deal cannot be reached.
- McSurdy is signed through 2015
- Magee is signed through 2015
Cornerback - Of the top 5 players, only Moore will be a Free Agent in 2014. 2014 Priority is Low.
- Carr is signed through 2017
- Claiborne is signed through 2016
- Scandrick is signed through 2016
- Webb is signed through 2016
- Moore will be a Restricted Free Agent in 2014. Look for the Cowboys to make him a qualifying offer next March if he plays well this year.
Safety - a lot depends on the performance of inexperienced players like Church, Wilcox and Johnson. Priority is Medium for 2014
- Allen is signed to one-year deal, but if he starts all year, he would likely sign another 1-year deal if asked.
- Church is signed through 2016
- Johnson is signed through 2015
- Wilcox is signed through 2016
Here are the High priority positions for 2014:
- Offensive Guard - solved with 1st, 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2014
- Place-Kicker - solved with Contract Extension for Bailey
- Defensive End - solved with 1st, 2nd or 3rd round pick in 2014
- Defensive Tackle - solved with Contract Extension for Hatcher and/or a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd round pick in 2014
- Middle Linebacker - solved with Contract Extension for Lee
Here are the Medium Priority positions for 2014:
- Offensive Tackle - solved with 3rd or 4th round pick in 2014.
- Punter - Soved with Restricted Free Agent Tender in 2014
- Safety - Solved by spending 4th or 5th round pick in 2014.