It's the year 2010, and in just a few weeks we'll cross the official starting point of the NFL's 2010 League Year.
Seems like old news by now, doesn't it?
That's because in the NFL even the off season is full of transactions. It's business as usual. Who cares that it's an uncapped year, there still hasn't been any movement toward a new Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, or that some proposed rule changes might permanently hobble this game we all love so much?
For those just too curious to stand it, I'm referring to the possibility of eliminating the 3-point stance. Not getting into it here, but I will say that as ridiculous as it sounds now, the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have done equally surprising things to the rules before.
So we've got a bit of a drought of football action right now. I must say that I'm surprised by that. I figured since the Saints—America's New Team —won the Super Bowl that the world would have partied itself into a giant collapse the likes of which only the Movie 2012 has depicted cheering the very chant of retardation—Who Dat . Seriously?
Former Cowboys and Never Cowboys alike can say all they want that Dallas isn't America's Team but the fact remains, The Dallas Cowboys are the most popular franchise in this or any other sport. Deal with it, Fujita.
The draft is the next big step toward getting the 2010 season kicked off technically, but in my mind there are much more pressing matters to attend to. First and foremost being how do we deal with the not-short-enough list of free agents in Dallas?
Thankfully, all but one are restricted and can't just up and leave for any deal that gets thrown their way, though I'd like to see Montrae Holland stick around too; he's been a good lineman for us when we've needed him.
He's a far cry better than that pudgy waste of a roster spot, Cory Proctor. He's one restricted free agent I think we should be happy to get rid of, finally, finally. F - I - N -A - L - L - Y .
But the biggest questions in free agency for us this year aren't exactly like the biggest questions from years past.
There is no Terrell Owens or similarly harmful locker room cancer to cut, there aren't any thugs playing football star to 86, and there aren't any glaring holes we need to fill with some overpaid big-shot on the open market. No, it's much simpler than that.
Our biggest free agency transaction will start and end right here in Dallas, or technically in Carrollton, Texas, at Valley Ranch, but you get the jist.
We've got to get a pile of cash to throw at Miles Austin. You know, the NFC's leading receiver with 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns.
I've maintained all along this as-of-yet short offseason that we cannot just give him the giant contract he would be happy to have at this point. We have to be smarter about it.
The truth is that he's going to get a truck load of cash no matter what team gives it to him, but Dallas has his loyalty.
It's kind of a tit-for-tat arrangement in that we stuck with him through his first few unspectacular and injury-prone years and gave him a chance to shine, which he did. I think that warrants him obliging any cautious side Jerry Jones might have.
Then again, it is an uncapped year and that does mean the money isn't as tight as we're all so painfully used to. Not at Jerry World.
Speaking of which, is anyone else as angry as I am to continually hear the NBA All-Star game is being played in Dallas? Last I checked, and I did grow up there once upon a time, Arlington isn't even in Dallas county, let alone the city of Dallas.
Hell, the old Texas Stadium isn't even in Dallas, it's in Irving, Texas.
To finish my rant I'll just say that I, for one, did not vote to have the new stadium built in Arlington just to see the city name completely stonewalled in advertisements. Kind of defeats the purpose of the city agreeing to the whole deal.
So where was I? Oh, so we need to move forward in a way that exudes some kind of sense. I realize that this is entirely dependent upon the long shot that good ole Jerrah, former oil man, has a cautious side, but I like to think of myself as an optimist, sue me.
We shouldn't be committing to a huge contract that spans more than a year or two. It's just not the right time for that.
I've been reading online of specific references made to how New Orleans handled Marques Colston after his breakout season, the season in which I found myself extremely pleased over my mid-year waiver wire pickup and the cache of points he netted me. So let's use that same reference here.
The biggest difference of all between Colston and Austin is one that I've yet to hear any credible media members mention—I'm using the word credible loosely —Colston's breakout season was his rookie year, was Austin's?
That would be a no.
Even though they had a guy who never showed them he was anything but a player, they still went the safe route with a meager contract to see if he would continue his production after the first year.
Austin is now facing his second Dallas contract to expire, so why not take it safe with him as well?
Give him the franchise tag, hell, give him a one year deal worth the franchise tag. I hear it's going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 mil. I'm not arguing that he doesn't deserve it.
I'm just trying to say that we've already got one truckload of cash tied up in Roy Williams, and that move hasn't really worked out so well for us.
I'm just worried that with Toyota halting manufacturing that there won't be any good trucks left to haul the cash, leaving only the ones with no brakes remaining—again, see Roy E. Williams.
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