Free agency is technically still alive, but the frenzy of the first few weeks is over and the signings have slowed to a trickle. So how did the Cowboys do? By most accounts, the Cowboys were considered "winners" in the process. They certainly were among the most active participants, signing players to fill multiple holes on the roster. Of course the headline signing was cornerback Brandon Carr, he was the most expensive signing and the highest-rated. The Cowboys signed: Brandon Carr, Kyle Orton, Dan Connor, Brodney Pool, Lawrence Vickers, Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings, and re-signed Kevin Ogletree. I guess you could also throw in Anthony Spencer who they franchised.
The Cowboys also lost players in free agency, or have yet to re-sign some of their own if they plan to. They lost Laurent Robinson, Martellus Bennett, they cut Kyle Kosier, Terence Newman and didn't tender Tony Fiametta. They have other guys like Bradie James, Keith Brooking and Montrae Holland, among others, who are still sitting out there.
So that brings us to Matt Williamson at ESPN who took on the daunting effort of grading all 32 teams in free agency.
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Analysis: Dallas addressed its needs in free agency and now is set up extremely well to take value players in the draft, instead of reaching for a need position. Carr should team with Mike Jenkins to make a formidable pair of cornerbacks while Pool is an upgrade at safety. Connor was an interesting and wise signing. A two-down run-stopper, he brings toughness and will be a complementary player to Bruce Carter. The offensive guards Dallas signed are probably better suited for backup duty than starting, but they will create plenty of competition for starting spots. And Dallas could target that position in the draft pretty easily. You have to think Dallas' grade would be even higher if the Cowboys hadn't been hit with a penalty for violating the salary cap.
I'd say that's pretty fair, although I think the fact that Dallas did so well in spite of the bogus salary cap penalty should give them a slightly higher grade, but that's nitpicking. I agree with most of his assessments, and still think that the guard signings aren't enough to ensure two quality starters at the position. The interior of the offensive line is still my biggest concern.
So what do you say, BTB? What grade would you give and why? Vote in the poll, then head to the comments.