The Dallas Cowboys have released DE Anthony Hargrove, due to his not rebounding physically after a year out of the league from suspension. They now have an opening on the 90-man roster, and about $9.5 million in cap space, pending the remaining contracts for Travis Frederick and Gavin Escobar. So what should they do?
First, the team could just go with another camp body. But that does not fit the way the acquisitions have gone the past few years. Although anyone signed at this point is pretty much a long shot, the Cowboys have tried to bring players in, like Hargrove, that could help out if they are able to beat someone for the slot. At this point, the question becomes what position would be the most valuable for the start of training camp?
The first thing that jumps to mind (well, for me, anyway) is to find a quarterback. As rabblerousr discussed in his post (which includes a list of some available names) on the questionable performance of Kyle Orton, Nick Stephens and Dalton Williams, the team may want to seriously consider bringing in someone to not only help out in camp but to possibly push to become a third quarterback on the roster. However, the list of available talent out there is not exactly awe-inspiring. Do you go with someone who has some experience, but is at this point pretty much a failure, like a Vince Young or a Matt Leinart, or do you try to bring in someone who never really broke into the league? Do you try to find a UDFA still out there and try to capture that Tony Romo lightning in a bottle again?
While quarterback is perhaps the most obvious choice, the team certainly could choose another direction. First among the usual suspects is the offensive line. The team could also go for defensive line depth, since that was Hargrove's area. And they might want to take a look at another safety.
However, there is always a question about signing a free agent who has not found a job at this point. Namely, if he isn't good enough to have made a roster already, why would we want to waste time with him? And the team is not likely to spend any significant money, either, so the only real options are going to be players who will take the minimum or something close to it. The one plus to picking up someone like this is that you can bring them in and evaluate them as an option to pick up during the season if needed. They learn some of the scheme, and would be better than the complete stranger street free agent that the Cowboys were dragging in last year.
I would say it would make more sense to look over the UDFA lists and try to find someone who has been overlooked for one reason or another. You would at least want someone who might be able to make the practice squad.
However, based on my perception, I still keep circling back to the quarterback. Yes, I know there are still many questions to be answered, but right now the team seems to be fairly pleased with the material it has to work with everywhere else. Given that, I think quarterback is the one place the team would be wise to take another look. The always omniscient OCC pointed out that UDFA Kyle Padron was released by the Oakland Raiders. He was a Dallas Days invitee, and might be someone that is still on the team's radar. Giving him a shot is essentially a no-risk, no-cost option for the Cowboys. He showed some skills at both SMU and Eastern Washington. His injury history (herniated disc) is a question mark, but again, there is not really a downside to giving him a chance.
That is the kind of player that Cowboys should be looking for. They now have the spot available. Of course, releasing Hargrove may be an indication they already have a player in mind and are making room. One way or another, we should find out shortly who they will be adding for training camp.
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