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The Cowboys Are Quiet As Mice. Be Prepared for Some Surprises

There has been a virtual news blackout from Valley Ranch this week on anything personnel related. Jerry Jones has mentioned the team has been ready to tackle free agency "for a week," but beyond that, silence.

I went back into the Blog archives and found a similar pattern of silence of subterfuge. Last season the Cowboys top two needs were cornerback and offensive tackle. Rumors were hot that Dallas might switch to a 3-4 defense, if they could find a nose tackle. The Cowboys were linked to WRs Laveranues Coles and Randy Moss.

In the days leading up to the start of free agency rumors had Dallas pursuing CBs Fred Smoot and Ken Lucas. The Cowboys filled the obvious hole, but surprised by claiming Browns CB Anthony Henry an afterthought on most free agent boards, including mine.

After a couple of weeks of will they or won't them, the Cowboys leapt out of the starting blocks and snagged Jason Ferguson from the Jets.

Another surprise came on the offensive line. Dallas was seen as a landing spot for former Jets RT Kareem McKenzie who eventually moved to the Giants. I wrote many pieces on Packers OG Mike Wahle who I had projected as a right tackle. Dallas signed his linemate Marco Rivera and kept him at right guard.

Now, flash back to the present. Dallas again has obvious needs at right tackle, kicker, outside linebacker and free safety. Again, they're being linked to a big risk/big potential reward WR, only this time, the name is Owens and not Moss.

Every veteran free agent tackle of note is being signed for the Cowboys. Jones suggested he would not pay top dollar, which would seemingly rule out Eagles RT Jon Runyan, but how can we tell?

At kicker, Jones again downplayed spending top dollar, but with Adam Vinatieri at the top of all kickers lists, how can we be sure he's not sandbagging?

And who, if anybody, will be this year's Henry, the player of quality so far overlooked?

Finally, which of the many former Parcells players will be tapped? Vinatieri, Jason Fabini, Jerald Sowell, Kevin Mawae and Willie McGinest are candidates to follow Ferguson, Keyshawn Johnson, Terry Glenn, Drew Bledsoe, Richie Anderson, Vinnie Testaverde and Ryan Young to Dallas.

The suspense may be getting out of hand, but if last year is any indication, the wait will be worth it.

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