It's still months away from the draft and weeks away from free agent signings, but I'm still going to present a case that acquiring a top notch offensive left tackle should be a high priority.
First off, it's not a stretch to consider the offense has more immediate needs than the defense, and it's not a reach to figure we are stronger at the offensive skill positions than the offensive line. There's also a lot to say for the proverb 'you're only as good as your weakest link'.
Having been a Cardinals fan long enough to remember what many consider to be the best offensive line in NFL history, the mid 1970's Cardinals were truly great.
With Dan Dierdorf, Conrad Dobler, Tom Banks and Bob Young, how amazing was it to see three (or four) Cardinal helmets lined up side by side on the offensive line in those Pro Bowls? Priceless!
But not really surprising seeing as in 1975 for instance, the Cardinals allowed an all-time league record low of 8 sacks for the season, protecting the very immobile (Hall Of Famer) Jim Hart. Imagine that?
And all the while, clearing the way for Terry Metcalf and Jim Otis to rush for a whopping 172 yards per game! (compared to 96 YPG for the 2013 Cardinals).
Unlike other offensive positions, offensive lineman are instrumental in both the running AND passing games. So it could be argued you get double your value when upgrading a piece of that puzzle. It also just so happens we are in a division where we face some very formidable defensive fronts (just our luck).
So what I'm really hoping for is to go 'beyond fixing' the offensive line to returning it to the glory days of Cardinals past, because the benefits of an excellent offensive line are boundless. And just imagine if one of the things synonymous with the 'Arizona Cardinals' was the term 'great offensive line!'.
With Jonathan Cooper 'returning' next year, I say what a great opportunity to 'double-down' with a elite Left Tackle linemate, and then just sit back and enjoy for years to come.
But of course, if it comes down to the draft (in the event of no free agent LT signing), who knows what will be available with the 20th pick. But I'm also thinking that with SK being a former offensive lineman himself (N.C. State) and BA being offensive minded, I wouldn't be surprised if they went that route (provided there was still LT value on the board).
That's my off-season wish. What's yours?