Dallas Cowboys: Last-Minute Predictions for the Cowboys in Free Agency
Free agency starts today and the Cowboys desperately need to fill holes before they can truly be considered contenders in the NFC.
Yes, the Cowboys have some legitimate cap issues and are only a slightly under the cap at the moment. Their involvement in free agency might hinge strongly on the restructure of Tony Romo’s contract.
For now the Cowboys have to play with the cards they're dealt and it’s a pretty crappy hand.
It’s a deep free-agent market to pair with a deep NFL draft. The Cowboys and their fans may have some lofty expectations, but if they’re realistic they can make the splash they need without spending the money that usually accompanies it.
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I for one am happy about the possible departure of running back Felix Jones. Jones came into Dallas with high expectations and failed mightily.
While Jones was able to be a suitable change-of-pace back when healthy, he was unreliable and had questionable durability.
With a potential that will never be reached and the inability to take advantage of many opportunities, Jones will leave Dallas as the back who never could be.
Jenkins has all the potential in the world, but injuries hurt his chances at making it as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Jenkins is a physical guy who can play hurt and leaves it all on the field. However, there were times when he created drama and hurt his standing with Valley Ranch.
He’s a goner.
Ogletree burst onto the scene in Week 1 as if he was going to be this year's Laurent Robinson.
We were disappointed.
Ogletree isn’t focused enough. He has talent, but he’s not willing to commit himself to the organization or his craft. The Cowboys gave him every chance to succeed and he failed miserably.
Free Agents Who Are a Distant Fantasy
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Fans love the idea of Jake Long who has been dominant in Miami at points in his career. Long has since regressed over the last two seasons and will command big money for his name alone.
The Cowboys have limited money to spend and Jake Long will command at the very least $9 million a year. An acquisition like this would be fiscally irresponsible for the team’s future.
Levitre has become one of the young elite guards in the NFL. Buffalo is foolishly willing to let him go and some team will benefit for it.
Unfortunately, that team won’t be the Cowboys.
Levitre’s contract won’t be huge, but it will be among the top guards in the NFL and rightly so. The Cowboys can’t commit to that though. They have a need a guard, but they also need to think about all the young stars they have to retain in the near future.
Free Agents Who Want More Money Than They Deserve
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Smith has always been a difficult puzzle to solve in terms of NFL players. He has all the potential to be an elite NFL tackle but his past has shown he can be lazy and undedicated.
It seems that Smith may have turned a corner with a very productive year. You have to wonder what he’ll do after receiving a larger contract though. Nevertheless, at $9 million a year he’s an expensive gamble.
The Cowboys were interested in Goldson before he signed with San Francisco. While he’s been productive in his career, he’s nothing more than a strong safety with limited range.
I believe that Goldson would have a tough time adjusting to the Tampa 2 defense that the Cowboys are trying to implement. He’ll want a max safety contract with a lot of guarantees; the Cowboys need to stay away from him.
Jackson would be the ultimate compliment to DeMarco Murray with his bruising style. The Cowboys had a shot at Jackson in the NFL draft but opted to draft Julius Jones instead.
That wasn’t a smart choice.
Jackson will likely want to remain a starter somewhere and will command that type of money. For a guy who would be nothing but a bruiser type back in the Dallas offense, I can’t expect that his price tag would be realistic.
Free Agents the Cowboys Would Like to See Come Cheap
Winston was a surprise release in the NFL last week when the Chiefs decided to part ways with him. He has been a consistent right tackle in this league and is only 29 years old.
Winston is out of his prime and may be starting to break down a bit, but that may help the Cowboys. The team desperately needs an upgrade at right tackle over Doug Free and Winston could be a stop gap for the next few years.
At an affordable contract the Cowboys would bite. The question is if Winston is prepared to take less money than some of the elite tackles.
Maulauga is an interesting guy to pay attention too. He has limitless potential and can play every position as a linebacker.
Ideally Maulauga would fill the “Sam” linebacker position for the Cowboys. The Cowboys could use a guy like him next to Bruce Carter and Sean Lee to create an extremely young and talented linebacker group.
Guard is a need for the Cowboys, that’s no secret. Vasquez is 25 years old and has everything they Cowboys want in a lineman.
It’s unsure what Vasquez’s market is in free agency, but the Cowboys would be smart to keep tabs on him and see if they can get him after the first wave of free-agent signings start.
Free Agents That Are Realistic Options for the Cowboys
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Thomas is the same story as Vasquez. He’s a young guard with some very solid potential.
Thomas’ career has been spent primarily as a backup, but he’s gotten opportunities as a starter and been productive while doing so. The Cowboys need a guard, and if they can could find an affordable option in free agency, it would allow them to be more open-minded when the draft comes around.
Thomas is not one of the top guys available this free-agency period at his position. His price tag should be cheap but likely short. He’ll be looking for a tryout year to nab a high priced contract before he gets too old.
Idonije makes a ton of sense in Dallas. Coming from Chicago, he worked closely with Rod Marinelli and has experience with the Tampa 2 defense.
Idonije is well past his prime but can still be a productive rotational player. His biggest value to the team will be his ability to teach the younger defensive linemen how to be successful in this scheme.
When a new defensive coordinator comes in, the players have trouble transitioning. Idonije could come in and ease that burden substantially.