The Cowboys are playing it safe early on in free agency and that is just fine by me. There is no need for the Cowboys to do anything brash, especially when room beneath the salary cap is tight. There is a tendency to panic at the sight of your team standing idly by as free agents get snatched up left and right but everyone stay calm. The Cowboys are doing the smart thing though, and here is why:
The Cowboys simply do not have the economic firepower to go after the top free agents this year and to be honest, this really is an underwhelming group. Now, if Randy Moss hits the open market things could get interesting but for the most part there is not one free agent Dallas should be doing back flips over. The Cowboys had 13 Pro Bowlers last year and managed to keep them all. There are a no holes that the Cowboys need to fill right away but it would be nice to get some depth at certain key positions.
The Cowboys currently only have one running back remaining from last year's active roster in Marion Barber and many expected the Cowboys would look to free agency to help. It appears that Michael Turner may be headed to Atlanta and the Cowboys have not shown any interest in him, or any other free agent back. The Cowboys are certainly going to look to the deep running back crop entering this year's draft for a backup to Barber; it would be nice though to have an experienced guy on the roster as well. A guy to pay attention to is Mewelde Moore. This guy may be able to fly under the radar and will be someone the Cowboys can sign cheap. Tatum Bell has also been mentioned as a good candidate but it is a bit unclear if the Cowboys are interested. Matt Mosely may have the inside scoop.
The top cornerbacks on the market are dropping like flies and the Cowboys have yet to show an ounce of interest in any of them. With the high dollar contracts they are receiving it is no surprise the Cowboys are wary. Drayton Florence received $6 million a year from the Jaguars and dearly departed Jacques Reeves received $8 million in guaranteed money from the Texans, way more than the Cowboys need to pay a 3rd corner. Wade Phillips knows all about the abilities of Florence and still kept away from him and that is all I need to know. Randall Gay may be available later in free agency but he might be too expensive as well. If the Cowboys want to make a play for anyone in the draft I could see them doing it for a corner. Anthony Henry is not getting any younger and the next Terence Newman might be waiting for the Cowboys in April.
Dante' Stallworth. Bernard Berrian. Andre Davis. Devery Henderson. Jerry Porter. All gone, snatched from under the noses of Dallas who is in desperate need of a game breaking wide receiver. Or are they? With the exact receiving group we have today the Cowboys were able to put together one of the best offensive regular seasons in team history. Jerry Jones has said that the team is confident in the team's young receivers and that confidence will have a bearing on his decisions during free agency. He also acknowledges that another dimension to the passing game is needed and he hinted that added spark might come from within. The Cowboys are very high on Isaiah Stanback but it is still unclear how far he might be from making a difference in a regular season game. The draft has a few options at wide receiver but I predict the Cowboys will target other positions before drafting a wide out. So who is left in free agency? Well there's Bryant Johnson and Javon Walker. The Cowboys have shown interest in Walker along with a number of other teams and will fall behind quickly if a bidding war breaks out. Unfortunately it seems that Cowboys have not shown interest in Bryant Johnson.
Does any of this lack of action on the Cowboys spell disaster? Not at all, even though the NFC East got tougher when the Eagles signed Asante Samuels. Jerry Jones believes that he has a strong team that won 13 games last season and there is not need to take part in the free spending start of free agency. Other elite teams are also taking that "wait and see" approach, knowing that all is needed is a decent veteran here or there and those guys will be there later and at a cheaper price. The Cowboys have already made their big free agent signing this year in Flozell Adams just like last year with Bigg Davis. If the Cowboys bide their time the next Ken Hamlin may very well fall in their laps.