NFL Free Agency: The Dallas Cowboys and 5 Best Landing Spots for Nate Clements

Michael PleshaCorrespondent IIIJune 19, 2011

NFL Free Agency: The Dallas Cowboys and 5 Best Landing Spots for Nate Clements

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    GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 29:  Cornerback Nate Clements #22 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after stopping a pass to Early Doucet #80 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 29, 2010 in Glendale, A
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    No one knows for certain when NFL Free Agency will begin, but when it does the movement of players will be significant. Veterans and young guys alike will be able to test the free-agent market, where they will decide whether to return to their former teams or embark on new adventures.

    Defensive back Nate Clements is one of those veterans standing at a crossroads. With so many teams in need of help for their secondaries, Clements should have no problem finding a home once free agency begins.

    Here is a list of five potential landing spots for Nate Clements.

5. San Francisco 49ers

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    SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 12:  Nate Clements #22 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after an interception against the Seattle Seahawks during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on December 12, 2010 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    This year’s lockout has and will continue to seriously affect the free-agent market. Many older players will likely end up staying with their current teams instead of packing up and going to completely new spots. 

    This could be the primary option for Nate Clements, who has been with the 49ers for the past four seasons. 

    Whenever the lockout does finally end and players are free to test the market, anyone going to a new team would have to learn a new system in less time. 

    Clements could stay in San Francisco because the 49ers need help at corner back, and he would be playing in pretty much the same system as he’s been playing in.

4. Detroit Lions

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    MIAMI - DECEMBER 26: Tight end Brandon Pettigrew #84 of the Detroit Lions celebrates a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida. The Lions defeated the Dolphins 34-27. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Imag
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    Prior to this year’s NFL Draft, there was a lot of talk about the Lions' targeting a cornerback with their first-round pick. Instead Detroit got extremely lucky, with defensive tackle Nick Fairley falling into their laps. 

    The Lions expect to have one of the best pass rushes in the NFC this year but still need help in the defensive backfield. Nate Clements could add much needed experience to a young Detroit secondary. 

    Although Clements would probably rather go play for a guaranteed contender, the Lions could be a team for which he could come in and start immediately.

3. Oakland Raiders

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  (L-R) Wide receiver Malcolm Floyd #80 of the San Diego Chargers looks down, as Stevie Brown #27 and Nnamdi Asomugha #21 the Oakland Raiders celebrate a broken play in the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in S
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    With the future of the best cornerback in the NFL uncertain, the Raiders may be looking for someone to replace Nnamdi Asomugha. Nate Clements would definitely be a downgrade from Asomugha, but he still has a lot of games left in the tank. 

    If the Raiders are able to retain Nnamdi, they could also look at Clements as an option at free safety, with former first-round pick Michael Huff likely gone.

2. Dallas Cowboys

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 02: Bryan McCann #37 of the Dallas Cowboys runs the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles on January 2, 2011 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    The Cowboys defense has been a problem for a few seasons now, especially when it comes to the pass. 

    Although Nate Clements would not be the infusion of youth that Dallas, needs he would help sure up a shaky secondary. 

    As with the Raiders, Clements could be an option at both safety and corner, but I see him primarily fitting in with the Cowboys as a safety. Despite the fact that the transition may be tough initially, Clements has an eye for the ball and can tackle very well in space, which are ideal traits for a free safety.

1. Miami Dolphins

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    MIAMI - DECEMBER 26: (L-R) Quarterback Chad Henne #7, coach Tony Sparano and running back Ricky Williams #34 of the Miami Dolphins look on from the sidelines against the Detroit Lions at Sun Life Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    When Nate Clements signed his record-breaking free-agent contract with the 49ers in 2007, Mike Nolan was the team’s head coach. Currently, Nolan is the defensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and would love to have one of his former players on his defense in 2011. 

    Nolan is attempting to sure up one of the league’s shakiest defenses from a season ago, and having Clements in the defensive backfield would definitely help his cause. 

    A change of scenery could be all Clements needs to return to his Pro Bowl form, and Miami has some pretty beautiful scenery.