Predicting Dallas Cowboys' Free-Agent Signings

Jason HenryCorrespondent IMarch 3, 2013

Predicting Dallas Cowboys' Free-Agent Signings

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    Now that the combine is over, NFL fans are shifting their attention to free agency.

    The Dallas Cowboys were $20 million under the cap heading into free agency, but after restructuring the contracts of some of their biggest players, they have eliminated that issue.

    There are still some pressing needs—like signing quarterback Tony Romo to a long-term deal and inking linebacker Anthony Spencer. Romo’s deal will eventually get done; Spencer is the one I’m not so sure about.

    With the Cowboys officially under the cap and still on a restructuring tangent, there may be some room to add a few free agents.

    As a note, I will mention that there are some players whom I would love to see in Dallas; the team just can’t afford them. Players like receiver Greg Jennings and safety Jairus Byrd are for sure on somebody’s board at Valley Ranch, but the team is too cash strapped to sign them.

    Same goes for cornerback Mike Jenkins. The Cowboys could probably sign him; he just no longer wants to be there.

    Here are a few players I think the Cowboys should sign to offseason deals.

Safety Charlie Peprah: 2 Years, $1.4 Million

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    Charlie Peprah's base pay in 2012 was just $700,000, so bringing him back for another two seasons won't cost the team much.

    I liked the way Peprah played last season, and I believe the Cowboys did as well. He made a few plays in the fives games that he played and totaled 11 tackles.

    Considering the Cowboys have issues with depth in the defensive backfield, bringing Peprah back is probably in the team's best interest.

Linebacker Victor Butler: 1 Year, $700,000

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    Sure, that may be a low-ball offer for Victor Butler, but he's a free agent just coming off of his rookie contract from 2009.

    His base was just over $600,000 in 2012, so signing him to a one-year deal worth at least $75,000 more isn't doing him a disservice.

    Butler has been wildly inconsistent in Dallas. Many thought that he would have breakout years in 2011 and 2012, and many are still waiting.

    With the uncertainty surrounding Anthony Spencer, the Cowboys should attempt to bring him back for one more year to see if he finally has that breakout season.

Defensive Tackle Glenn Dorsey: 3 Years, $8 Million

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    I remember Glenn Dorsey coming out of LSU and some scouts saying that he was a can’t-miss player.

    Ask any fan of the Kansas City Chiefs about him now, and they won’t miss him when he leaves in 2013.

    Dorsey is playing out of position based on where he lined up in college. He’s a 4-3 defensive tackle, and he plays a 3-4 defensive end in the NFL.

    If the Cowboys sign him to a deal, he may fit well in Monte Kiffin’s Tampa 2 defensive scheme.

    Dorsey can play the roll of hog; he’s just about 300 pounds and comes in at 6’1”.

    His contract situation is unknown because he will not command the type of money he received as a rookie. Dorsey signed a lucrative five-year, $50.4 million deal.

    The Cowboys can’t afford that, and Dorsey has to prove that he’s worth that much money before he receives that type of contract again.

Guard Donald Thomas: 1 Year, $700,000

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    Donald Thomas played for the New England Patriots in 2012 and appeared in every single game for them. The Pats have had some misses over the years, take Chad Ochocinco as one, but they seemed to hit on Thomas.

    He’s now a free agent, and the Cowboys should have him on their list of players to target.

    According to Field Yates of ESPN.com, Thomas could start for Dallas right away and improve the Cowboys' interior protection of Romo immediately.

    If Thomas did sign for just a season, I see no harm in seeing how well he would play under Garrett. He played well in New England and protected All-Pro Tom Brady pretty well.

    I’m sure he could do the same for Romo.

Running Back Felix Jones: 1 Year, $1.1 Million

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    I don't believe that Felix Jones will be back with the Cowboys in 2013. He's not durable, is inconsistent and the Cowboys have a better chance of drafting a better back.

    If the team decides to trade picks away or go defensive heavy without drafting a running back, Dallas should think about bringing him back for depth purposes.