Projecting Dallas Cowboys' NFL Free-Agent Targets

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Projecting Dallas Cowboys' NFL Free-Agent Targets
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Do not let the recent developments at Valley Ranch fool you. Last week's restructuring of numerous contracts does not mean that we can expect to see big splashes coming next week with respect to free-agent acquisitions.

 

In other words, if next Tuesday, March 12, was the Friday following Thanksgiving, owner and general manager Jerry Jones simply wouldn't have the cash to go on a silly holiday shopping spree.

 

And this is for the best. Jones did this last year and came away with surprisingly little after signing numerous players from several teams. Of seven early signings a year ago, only cornerback Brandon Carr and fullback Lawrence Vickers seem assured of starting jobs with the Cowboys in 2013.

 

Others, like offensive guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau figure to make the team, but in what capacity we really don't know right now. Backup quarterback Kyle Orton should remain, but in a perfect world, he won't see the field, so it's hard to call that a great signing.

 

Yes, this year will be different with fewer names and probably less awareness of the players that Dallas can bring in.

 

Based on the Cowboys´anticipated budget, especially shy of the expected contract extension for starting quarterback Tony Romo, here's a look at 10 possible free-agent acquisitions that might be a good fit for Dallas.

 

I am not including players who spent 2012 with the Cowboys, so players like cornerback Mike Jenkins or linebacker Victor Butler will not appear, although they could end up with Dallas again. Further, these players are ranked from least likely to most likely to find a home in North Texas.

 

Also, these are not players who the Cowboys have to have, just as most are not among the top names that we all hear as players who will set the market at their respective positions. This is not ''Franchise Mode'' on Madden NFL 13.

 

Jones is aware that the better he is in free agency, the better flexibility his franchise will have on draft day in April. With a paltry six selections at this point in time, it will be essential that every dollar spent on each player this offseason is much wiser than the big expenditures of a year ago that led to the same 8-8 record of 2011.

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