Dallas Cowboys’ offseason plan: Five areas to address

Dallas has aced every possible regular-season test. They’ve won shootouts against high-flying offenses like the Steelers and Redskins. They’ve completed comebacks against strong defenses like the Eagles and Ravens. The Cowboys even showed Thursday night they could win a defensive battle on the road in Minnesota, a rare game where their power-packed offense lacked electricity.

Securing the No. 1 seed in the NFC is a matter of when, not if. A chance to avenge the team’s only loss thus far next week at MetLife Stadium could be the last truly meaningful game the Cowboys play until mid-January. In the meantime, the Fighting Daks will adjust to their new role. With December here, they have transformed from the season’s best story to favorites for the Super Bowl. Now comes the hard part.

The Cowboys’ biggest weakness on paper all season showed up on the field against Green Bay. The Cowboys had to blitz to get any pressure on Aaron Rodgers and it wasn’t enough. Perhaps mammoth defensive end David Irving is a future star — like the broadcast analysts insisted — or perhaps he was a two-game wonder who hasn’t otherwise stood out in his career.

Jones and family have tried to address this problem in recent drafts, but , and defensive tackle Maliek Collins aren’t enough. Don’t be shocked if the Cowboys get loose with some money in free agency. (Jason Pierre-Paul? Melvin Ingram?) Their tricky salary-cap situation can always be solved with some accounting creativity. Jones has done it before and could convince himself a prime pass rusher is the one missing piece to splurge jerseys

This time, however, the Cowboys had rookie star firmly entrenched in his old job. Prescott had this message on his Instagram Tuesday: “From a Fan Of Yours to Being Your Teammate: THANK YOU for The Advice On & Off the Field to Making Plays that I’ll Never Forget!”

During a news conference in November, Romo essentially surrendered the gig that he had held on a regular basis since 2006, he foreshadowed a comeback season elsewhere. He talked about his desire to play football at a high level again

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported that the Cowboys have told Romo that he will be released, according to a source informed of the decision. When the new league year starts Thursday at 4 p.m. ET, Romo will be free to sign with any team he chooses.

The timing allows Romo to find a new home faster and could create more potential landing spots for him. Rapoport reported Wednesday the Broncos and Texans are “very interested suitors,” meaning they will be fighting over a quarterback for the second straight offseason. The Texans “won” the battle to sign Brock Osweiler last March and they are looking for help once again.

What we saw Al Davis do with the Raiders in the late 1970s and early ’80s was remarkable. He was always infatuated with speed, and we saw him — and head coaches John Madden and Tom Flores — utilize speed at most, if not all, skill positions. That’s why they were able to win three championships during that time (1976, 1980 and 1983).

When you talk about a dynasty, you have to talk about the fan base. When the Raiders moved from Oakland to Los Angeles in 1982, their fans moved with them. History shows the Raiders have a strong fan base, and if they move to Las Vegas, you would see the same type of following.

NFL Network’s Jane Slater reached out to Scandrick Friday night. “If true, I believe I can start and be productive wherever I play,” he told her. “It’s a situation (that) I have no control over.”

If the Cowboys end up trading Scandrick for a late-round draft pick, Awuzie figures to start opposite Anthony Brown this season.