The VRR: Could Cowboys Address Free Safety Position Via Free Agency?

As of now, the free safety position for the Dallas Cowboys looks to be some mix of Alan Ball (who signed the dotted line today), rookie Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, and perhaps a Mike Hamlin or Patrick Watkins. Going into training camp, we can surmise that Ball has the better grasp on the starting job, for now.

But is the team finished addressing the position? There are some big name veteran free safeties out there. Adam Schefter speculates that the Cowboys "might be poised to make" an offer to safety Darren Sharper if he does not sign with the Jaguars. Interesting.

The Cowboys also did not draft a safety last weekend and they released Ken Hamlin before the draft. Dallas is known to be eyeing Sharper. The Cowboys would like to weaken the defending Super Bowl champion Saints while strengthening themselves.

No safety in the draft? What about AOA, Scheft?!?

Anyways, NFP's Matt Bowen asks whether Sharper's visits could be a marketing ploy on the player's part.

However, this could still be a classic case of Sharper trying to drive up his market value and entice the Saints to offer some more cash at the table.

I’ve said before that the veteran safety is a perfect fit for Gregg Williams’ defense down in New Orleans, and I still believe that. He gets some freedom in that scheme — controlled freedom — that allows him to make those plays on the football.

More VRR after the jump.

Recently released Dallas FS Ken Hamlin will be visiting the Bengals.

Rookies Dez Bryant and AOA are both known for their return skills. This seems to be an area of the game that the team is seeking desperately to upgrade. Incumbent punt returner, Patrick Crayton, has yet to give up the job. Although Crayton managed to break some big returns in '09, how efficient is Dallas' punt return game? DMN breaks down Crayton's punt returns.

Crayton tied Cincinnati's Quan Crosby for the most punts fielded with 59. The breakdown for Crayton was 36 returns and a league-high 23 fair catches.

Factor in the fair catches, and Crayton's average drops to 7.4 yards. That drops him ninth among the 18 returners who had at least 40 punts fielded last season.

Add UDFA CB Bryan McCann to the Cowboys' growing list of return men for training camp.

Former PC defensive back Bryan McCann was signed to a free-agent deal by the Dallas Cowboys following a solid career at SMU. With his versatility as a defensive back and kick returner will give him a chance to make the squad.

He finished at SMU as the active career interceptions leader in Conference USA.

So...who is this New Hampshire TE Scott Sicko we keep hearing about?

The 6-foot 4-inch, 235-pound Sicko, who reportedly turned down five free-agent deals last week in favor of continuing his education, today signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

Last season, Sicko caught 55 passes and scored nine touchdowns for the Wildcats. He was named a Football Championship Subdivision first team All-America tight end.

Hat tip to Far Rider for the FanShot.

Sicko's agent spoke with FOXSports.

"After Scott initially decided not to play football and pursue his graduate studies, the Cowboys as well as other teams continued to pursue him," Rickert wrote in an e-mail to FOXSports.com.

"We maintained active dialogue with the Cowboys and they also continued to speak to Scott. After considering all factors, Scott has decided to become a member of the Cowboys. We are very grateful that the Cowboys have given him this opportunity and he is 100 percent committed."

NC State's basketball player, Simon Harris, is the Cowboys' current try at landing their own "Antonio Gates".

The Cowboys will also bring in a former college basketball player to the mini-camp on a tryout basis. Simon Harris, a 6-3 guard for two seasons at North Carolina State, has not played football since the eighth grade, but he showed enough during the Wolfpack's pro day to earn an audition at tight end.

Harris played pro basketball in Ireland last year.

Taking a quick glance at the team's UDFA signings both from this year and last year, it looks as if they are into developing offensive linemen and looking to find a prize TE/FB to compete with Deon Anderson. Notice any other trends?

Cowboys 2009 Undrafted rookie free-agent signings:

Rudy Carpenter, QB, Arizona State
Asaph Schwapp, FB, Notre Dame
Michael Turkovich, G, Notre Dame
Greg Isdaner, G, West Virginia
Travis Bright, G, BYU
Julian Hawkins, WR, Boise State
Jamar Hunt, TE/LS, UTEP
Kevin Ogletree, WR, Virginia.

Cowboys 2010 Undrafted free agent signings:

Delbert Alvarado, P/K, South Florida
Junior Aumavae, NT, Minnesota State
Will Barker, T, Virginia
Barry Church, S, Toledo
Phil Costa, G/C, Maryland
Rashaun Greer, WR, Colorado State
Chris Gronkowski, FB, Arizona
Terrell Hudgins, WR, Elon
Bryan McCann, CB, SMU
Danny McCray, S, LSU
Lonyae Miller, RB, Fresno State
Matt Nichols, QB; Eastern Washington
Scott Sicko, TE, New Hampshire
Chet Teofilo, G/C, California
Mike Tepper, T, California
Nick Tow-Arnett, TE, Minnesota
Verran Tucker, WR, California
Lorenzo Washington, DE, Alabama.

Calvin Watkins ranks the players on the Cowboys roster. Here are his Top 10:

The top three were pretty easy with Ware, Romo and Ratliff. But is Austin (left) more valuable than Witten? Jones moved into the Top 10 on his potential to have a big season. Bryant, if used the right way, could win the rookie of the year award. We have two Pro Bowl corners in Jenkins and Newman, who might have another strong season.

1. DeMarcus Ware, OLB 6. Felix Jones, RB
2. Tony Romo, QB 7. Anthony Spencer, OLB
3. Jay Ratliff, NT 8. Mike Jenkins, CB
4. Miles Austin, WR 9. Terence Newman, CB
5. Jason Witten, TE 10. Dez Bryant, WR

It sounds as if Dez accepted Ireland's apology, as suggested here during Ireland's backpedal.

"I appreciate his acceptance of that apology, and I told him I wished him well as he embarks on his NFL career."

Tim MacMahon looks at some of the free agent tackles available.

What options are already out there?

Garland native Mike Gandy, Levi Jones, Ephraim Salaam, John Tait, Tra Thomas and Damion McIntosh are unrestricted free agents with starting experience who might be willing to be cost-effective backups.

Mr.Jones, any chance of re-signing Flozell Adams?

"I haven't ruled out anything, at all," Jones said. "That's not impossible, but I haven't ruled that out. What's wrong would be to imply for him, that seems presumptuous about that.

"No, I haven't ruled out anything."

Why is Miles Austin laughing at DeAngelo Hall on his FaceBook?

"Can't breathe can't stop laughing De Angelo Hall is a comedian!'

Evidently, Hall's comments below inspired the chuckle.

"It's based on the talent we feel like we've got. It's based on the improvements I feel like we've made. It's based on the scheme," Hall said during an interview with Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Blog.

"The scheme alone is gonna give us four or five more wins. The games we lost by two, three points, we'll win those games, easy."

"We'll dominate our division, off of bringing Donovan McNabb in here, a guy who's dominated the division in the past," Hall continued. "So that's just an educated guess. That's an educated guess, and I stand behind. I'll stand behind that. I'll fight and claw to try to make that happen."

Do you tweet? Check out the True Blue Fan Club's official list of Cowboys Twitter accounts to follow.

 

In case you haven't heard, the Cowboys re-signed unrestricted free agent guard/center Montrae Holland.

Here's what the trade for Holland netted the Broncos Saints.

27 (158) Saints (From Cowboys through Patriots, Broncos, Raiders, and Jaguars) Tennant, Matt C 6'5" 300 Boston College

Sean Lee's high school football and basketball coaches say he is a perfect fit with the Cowboys.

"(Sean) fits what (the Cowboys) needed," said Render. "He moves extremely well. He's a more fluid runner than when I coached him. He makes the cuts and drops a linebacker should make.

"Of all the teams that use the 3-4 defense, their linebackers are some of the oldest and they could use a guy who is well-trained and well-schooled. Sean is in a good situation."

While his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers passed on him the pick previously, all agree the Cowboys are a good fit for Lee.

"He was picked by the right team," Holzer said. "They needed a linebacker. A team that has a need for him."

More from Coach Phillips on what Lee can learn from Keith Brooking:

"It goes to temperment a little bit," Wade Phillips said. "You can tell he's a feisty player. I don't know that he's going to be that kind of leadership. But his agility - he can play first, second or third down, he can play Mike, he can play Mo - and that's where Brooking was unique."

[snip]

"The first thing he's going to learn from him is to try to out-do everybody every practice, every drill, everything he does," Phillips said. "And if he learns that from him I think it'll really be a great start for him. (Brooking) competes all the time and he tries to be the best every play, in practice, in walkthroughs, whatever."

Lee on Galloway & Co. (audio).

Click below to donate to BTB's Dallas Cowboys 2010 Training Camp Fund!

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