NFL Free Agency: Dallas Cowboys Outbid Chiefs for Brandon Carr, Kyle Orton

Derek EstesCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 31:  Curtis Brinkley #44 of the San Diego Chargers makes a catch for a two-point conversion as Brandon Carr #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs defends during the game on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The NFL's recent judgment against the Dallas Cowboys hasn't seemed to slow down Jerry Jones' spending habits.

This year, he's opened up his checkbook for two former Chiefs players, signing Brandon Carr and Kyle Orton to contracts. Carr's contract should raise the most eyebrows as Dallas committed over $50 million to Carr for the next five years, making him one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the league.

Losing Carr hurts the Chiefs plenty, though they did sign Stanford Routt earlier in the year to mitigate Carr's departure. But the Chiefs did the right thing in letting Carr walk rather than paying him like Dallas did.

Carr definitely developed into one of the better cornerbacks, but Dallas overpaid for his services. The franchise tag would have paid Carr $10.4 million this year, which is the average of the top five cornerbacks in the league.

While talented, Carr doesn't qualify as a top five talent. Carr wasn't even the top corner on his team, taking a back seat to Brandon Flowers.

So while watching a quality player leave Kansas City through free agency stings, fans shouldn't feel slighted that the Chiefs parted ways with Carr rather than overpay for a good but not great player.

Orton, meanwhile, will leave one quarterback controversy for another. Rather than compete with Matt Cassel for the starting position in Kansas City, he'll challenge the skilled but inconsistent Tony Romo in Dallas.

The biggest disadvantage for Kansas City comes from their lack of a quality backup quarterback. At present, the Chiefs only have Matt Cassel and Ricky Stanzi under contract and could use some insurance given Cassel's inconsistent play over his three years in Kansas City.

Those options could be quickly evaporating, though. In addition to Orton, Chad Henne and Jason Campbell have both signed contracts with other teams.

If Kansas City's situation at cornerback is any indication, the Chiefs will be sure to address this shortcoming in due time. What's more, they'll do it with their bottom line in mind to ensure they can continue pursuing additional players as free agency continues.

And the Chiefs will be better for it.