Howdy Cowboy fans. There has been a lot of chatter on the web lately about franchising Spencer and about signing Routt. This seems to be a polarizing topic on this website lately, and it seems as though a lot of people are against these moves. This honestly surprises me coming from this website which I feel has some of the most logical and realistic fans which is why I love this website. I would expect it on the comments of espn.com or places like that, but it honestly surprises me to see all of the people who are so against these two football moves. Moves that I consider to be pretty smart.
I think the first thing people need to do is being more realistic. Let's use some logic. I'm very guilty of this myself in the offseason. It's very easy to sit around and daydream about signing one or even a couple of the big name guys. We all love thinking about getting the big splash like Mario or Nicks. Heck, sometimes we even think about how awesome it would be to make a couple of big splashes and land a couple of the sexy names in free agency. So after a month of dreaming of going all in for a big name free agent, our initial reaction to the thought of signing Routt and franchising Spencer is disappointment.
Let's be honest. The Cowboys aren't one player away. In fact, what team is really ever one player away in free agency? The Packers when they got Reggie White...yes. The Cowboys when we landed Deion to get our 3rd SB in four seasons....yes. Who else? More often than not, going for big free agents has not worked out, just ask Danny Synder. I have been disappointed in recent years with the Cowboys as they seem to do hardly anything in free agency. I think there needs to be a balance between making some big signings and doing nothing. The Cowboys are going to have plenty of cap room this year, but this needs to be spent wisely. This needs to be spent to shore up all the huge holes at positions that were below average last year.
Our team will never consist of 22 Pro Bowlers. It never will, and that's ok. What's not ok is having extremely subpar play at a few positions. It's ok to be average or slightly about average, but it's not ok to be way below average at certain positions. This brings me to Spencer. Spencer is a good football player. He's probably not as dynamic as you would like, and sure we would all love for him to get a few more sacks, but he's a pretty good player. He's great against the run, and he is able to get a lot of QB pressures. Again, my key to this post is using logic. I'm sick of seeing people say "Spencer sucks, get rid of him." That is not being logical. Spencer does not suck. He is not bad, but he is not the great pass rusher that we all wish we had to pair with D-Ware. Let me ask you this.....if we let Spencer go, who do we have to replace him? Exactly. It's easy to say that a guy sucks, and we need to get rid of him, but you HAVE to have a replacement. No way that Butler is a replacement. The guy can pressure the QB a bit, but he is not a complete enough player. He is a good role player, but he isn't an improvement over Spencer. So by getting rid of Spencer,it would create a huge hole on our team when we already have a few. This is the opposite of what you want to do going in to the draft. If the Cowboys let Spencer go, they would almost force themselves to take a pass rusher in round one. This is a risky move. There is a chance that the Cowboys could land an upgrade over Spencer, but there's also a chance that the 'boys get Spencer 2.0. I've heard a lot of people say that the 'boys could end up with Upshaw. Everybody describes him as a "safe pick." Probably about a 6-8 sack a year guy....sound familiar? I'm on board with replacing Spencer eventually, but franchising him makes a lot of sense. This way we don't HAVE to spend a first round pick at OLB. If an OLB falls to us at 14, we can take him and groom him for a year. We don't HAVE to take an old at 14 if Spencer is there, but we could if he's the BPA.
This brings me to the weak spots of the team. The Cowboys were terrible at CB. More specifically,T-New was terrible. I agree that he does need to be replaced, but who can replace him. I see Routt as the perfect candidate to replace T-New. Is Routt better than Newman? YES. It could even be argued that Routt is better than Scandrick or Jenkins. I've seen lots of different posts on several websites looking at Routt's stats. Some are pretty good. Some are not(obviously leading CBs in penalties is not good). I do think he is an upgrade over Newman though. I think people were judging Routt based on the huge contract he had, but he will be lucky to receive half of what he got in Oakland. If you can sign Routt for a reasonable deal (4 years 25 million seems like a good place to start negotiations), I think it's a smart signing. Don't break the bank for him, but I would like to sign him. Let's helps improve a position of need heading into the draft. If we don't replace Newman, we are almost forcing ourselves to address CB in round one of the draft. If we sign Routt, we don't HAVE to draft a CB at pick 14, but we can if he's the BPA. This draft is extremely deep at CB, and I think the Cowboys will draft 2 in the first five rounds. If we could do that, we could have Routt and Jenkins Starting. Scandrick as 3rd CB and a couple of rookies easing in to the rotation at the 4th and 5th CB spot. It's easy to say that Newman sucks, but you do have to have a replacement for him. Routt is better than Newman, and he's a solid player. He's not a pro bowler, but that 's ok.
The major "splash" I would make in free agency this year is Chris Myers, the center for Houston. This was a huge weakness for us last year, and we cannot afford to not address this in FA. Myers isn't a sexy free agent pickup because he is a center, but acquiring him would turn a weakness to a strength. If we don't replace Costa through free agency, we would HAVE to draft an interior olineman early. It's ok to draft an olineman early if he is the BPA on your board, but you never want to have huge needs going into the draft. To finish up free agency I resign Robinson if the price is right.
So that's it for my off season plan. It's not sexy, but it is logical. It probably will disappointment a lot of people, but it makes a lot of sense. Its ok to not have 22 Pro Bowlers on your team, but it's not ok to have below average guys at a few positions. It's ok to want to get rid of some players, but you better have a replacement player ready. Not resigning Spencer would just create a huge need on a team with more important needs. I want to use free agency to fill in my huge holes, so that way I can use the draft to find a Pro Bowl type player at any positions. If we use free agency to fill in the needs, the draft becomes a whole lot easier when we truly can just draft the highest rated player on our board.