Free agency, baby. It's almost here. The numbers are going to be insane for some of these contracts. I read that Al Johnson can expect an offer of up to $4 million a year from another team. Wow. This year, practically everybody has tons of money to spend in free agency. The Dallas Cowboys have the money and are notorious big-spenders, but they are expected to lay low. Maybe it's a good thing, given the track record lately. Or maybe Jerry will surprise us by signing Adalius Thomas. OK, that's not going to happen. But just imagine the thought of putting Thomas and DeMarcus Ware on the field together. Tell me that wouldn't be fun.
Back to reality. I participated in a recent edition of the DCFanatic Radio Show where we talked about free agency, and the draft. It's hard to talk about one without the other. DCFanatic asked me to name three free agents I would like the Cowboys to look at. First for me was Steinbach/Dielman, I consider them one player because I would be happy with either. I want someone to replace Marco Rivera and either one of those two would not only be a replacement, but a big-time upgrade to our offensive line. I've heard the rumors that they already have deals in place at big money, and if that proves to be true, then I suggest we look at Derrick Dockery or Leonard Davis - if the price is right - as possibilities. Or, if we can't get our hands on one of the top two, then maybe we just wait for the draft.
The second was backup QB. We need a veteran to backup Tony Romo, and preferably one that doesn't stink. I was on the Damon Huard bandwagon until he got re-signed - I learned that news while taping the DCFanatic Show. Now, I'm looking at Brad Johnson, Tim Rattay or Anthony Wright. Brad Johnson can still play and would be a nice mentor for Romo. Rattay and Wright have performed well in backup roles and might come at a nice price. I've never been a fan of Patrick Ramsey, and I'm not sure about Joey Harrington.
Then I threw out a third choice that was a little off the radar. Maybe a FB like Justin Griffith from the Falcons could be a possibility. Jason Garrett grew up in the Cowboys 90's offense and Moose Johnston was a big part of that. Not just blocking, but catching balls out of the backfield and even the occasional running play. Garrett also was in Tampa where Gruden made good use of Mike Allstott. The Cowboys 2-TE system didn't work last year; they abandoned it later in the season. We have Oliver Hoyte, but nobody knows if he can be more than a lead-blocking banger. Lou Polite is just a warm body, he doesn't hurt you, but he's not going to do a lot to help you win, either. A multi-faceted FB like Griffith, or someone else like him, might serve the Cowboys well. A combo of Hoyte and an all-around FB could add something new to the offense.
I didn't mention a safety because I'm not sure who I want to go after. I still think Pat Watkins might grow into the job, but adding some competition would be nice. Maybe someone like this kid Kevin Kaesviharn.
As for the draft, it all depends on free agency. But if I discount free agency, my first preference would be for the Cowboys going after a guard like Justin Blalock or Ben Grubbs. Or if they are troubled by the prospects of Pat Watkins being the starter next year, perhaps a safety like Reggie Nelson and definitely a safety like LaRon Landry if he somehow fell - which he won't. And I was intrigued by Adam Carriker, but as noted in an earlier post, his combine numbers make him a likely top-15 pick. But in truth, I haven't been concentrating too much on the draft because free agency will change my thinking about that.
Who do you want the Cowboys to target in free agency?