KC Joyner has an interesting article over at ESPN. He lists Jacques Reeves as one of free agency's underrated players, citing Reeves' YPA numbers throughout the season.
Jacques Reeves, CB, Texans: Reeves, formerly of the Cowboys, had a 7.9 YPA in 2007. That number alone says he is average, but it is skewed somewhat by three of his games. Reeves struggled in Week 2 at Miami, got beat for a 69-yard touchdown by Donte' Stallworth in Week 6 against New England and had a subpar showing in Week 11 against Washington.
Take those three tilts out of his numbers, and Reeves' YPA drops to 7.0, which is a starting-cornerback level YPA. He might not be a shutdown cornerback, but he certainly is an upgrade for a weak Houston secondary that can use all the help it can get.
This is a perfect example of someone twisting stats to reflect their own agenda. True, Reeves' numbers can be skewed by big plays that he gave up throughout the season but the fact remains he still gave those up. If you were a Cowboys fan watching the whole year then you saw that while Reeves played well at the beginning, he was targeted over and over again successfully by opposing offenses as the season wore on. When the Cowboys were desperate for a stop, Reeves was always guilty of giving up the third down conversion. It was frustrating to watch him line up 10 yards off the ball on a third and six and give up the easy come back or slant pass. And the 46 second touchdown drive by New York in the playoff game was a perfect example of Reeves' shortcomings as a corner and how an offense can exploit him. While there are worse cornerbacks playing in the NFL and teams are always in need of a decent defensive back, just because Houston gave Reeves a $20 million contract does not mean he was underrated as a Cowboy.
However, Joyner also lists D.J. Hackett as another underrated player who could make an impact in 2008. The Cowboys have sat back and played it safe so far in free agency and will wait to see who will fall through the cracks just itching to be snatched up for a cheap contract. Hackett could very well be that guy. The closer we get to the draft and the more I think about Jerry Jones' attitude about our current wide receivers I just don't see the Cowboys drafting a receiver on the first day. If the Cowboys can sign a player like Hackett then they can focus even more on positions in need of depth.
A lot of fans are praying for the Cowboys to make a play for Larry Fitzgerald or Detroit's Roy Williams but neither of those players has a shot of coming to Dallas any time soon. For one, Detroit is adamant that they are not trading Williams, and Larry Fitzgerald is just too expensive for the Cowboys to trade for. The Cowboys have also not shown any interest in Bryant Johnson, another speedy receiver on the market. Hackett would bring speed to the team and could come at an affordable price perfect for the Cowboys.