What to do with Miles Austin can be an exhausting debate. Do whatever it takes to keep him is the obvious answer.
But then there is that "what if?".
What if a team like, let's say the Dolphins, are willing to give up a draft pick or two for Austin? Every team has realized his potential has developed into production. The Dolphins sit at number twelve in the first round. Could they get a better WR at that spot than Austin?
Yes, the Cowboys have the right to match any offers, but that number twelve pick coupled with a third-rounder if they place the highest RFA tender on him could be rather enticing.
It's all speculation until early March, but that doesn't mean it doesn't smell fishy.
More VRR after the jump.
Stephen Jones had the quote of the week in regards to the Cowboys having no plans to franchise Miles Austin.
"We don't need to use the franchise tag," said Jones, who was attending a celebrity PBR media event at Cowboys Stadium Wednesday morning. "How many times have you seen another team give up a one and a three?"
Hat tip to Dr. Cowboy for the FanShot.
Personally, I prefer Jerry's statement:
"We're just not going to have Miles Austin any place but with the Dallas Cowboys," owner Jerry Jones said on 103.3 FM ESPN radio.
Stephen also mentioned that the Cowboys will not spend wildly this offseason.
Jones said Wednesday that the Cowboys agreed to expensive, long-term deals with the likes of Tony Romo and linebacker DeMarcus Ware to keep them off the market in a year when teams might have no limit on spending. Because of the money tied up in those deals, Jones says the Cowboys aren't interested in a spending spree. He also says they don't see a need for major changes after their first playoff win in 13 years.
Todd Archer says that Austin will remain a Cowboy, but a certain Florida team may keep their eyes on what the team does with him.
Could Miami make a run at Austin? Bill Parcells certainly knows the talent, as do Tony Sparano and everybody else with the Dolphins. Miami needs a No. 1 wide receiver for Chad Henne. Remember this too: when Parcells left New England for the New York Jets, he took with him running back Curtis Martin, who was a ... restricted free agent. He signed Martin to a six-year, $36 million deal. New England chose not to match the offer, taking the Jets' first- and third-round picks.
Miami would have to give up the 12th and 73rd picks to make a play for Austin. Would you take that as compensation? Heck no. The Cowboys put a lot of years of investment into Austin, do not have a suitable replacement and the draft is always a crapshoot when it comes to receiver.
Josh Ellis thinks the Cowboys ought to play it safe and franchise Austin.
Austin would be their highest-profile acquisition among the former Cowboys, who are apparently content to place the first- and third-round tender on the emergent wide receiver. The Cowboys would have the right to match an offer from Miami or any other team, in that event, but nothing technically prevents Dolphins from using a Poison Pill to keep the Cowboys from retaining him.
Nick Eatman thinks a restricted tender is sufficient.
My gut feeling is the Cowboys will give Austin the highest restricted tender possible - the one-year $3.16 million deal. If another team signs Austin to an offer sheet and the Cowboys choose not to match, then they would receive a first- and third-round pick this year.
But let's be real here, the Cowboys are going to match. It's an uncapped year. They will figure it out and out-bid any team to keep their own superstar wide receiver. And another thing, if you go back over the last 10 years or so of free agency, teams aren't forfeiting high picks for restricted free agents.
Here is the list of players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents March 5.
While the defense took a big step forward this season, next season they could help the offense out more by providing better starting field position.
The Cowboys' offense also rarely worked with a short field. The Cowboys had only 13 possessions that began in opponents' territory, fewest in the league. Green Bay had the most, with 31. Super Bowl champion New Orleans had 22 possessions that began in opponents' territory, and the Saints also scored seven defensive touchdowns.
The Cowboys' defense did well in terms of limiting points, the top goal. The next step for the defense is to make more plays that help the offense. That increases the possibility of taking a play-making safety high in the draft, if not in the first round.
Matt Mosely heard that the Cowboys may be targeting safeties in the first round.
Jones didn't confirm this, but I've been told that the scouting department is taking a long look at the safety position with the No. 27 pick overall. The organization is disappointed in the play of Ken Hamlin and it's time to start looking for his eventual replacement. Alan Ball has looked good at times, but I'm not sure he's ready for full-time duty.
The Cowboys also would like to add depth along the offensive line. Doug Free emerged as a solid contributor in '09, but the team needs to continue drafting and developing young linemen. I'm not sure where the Cowboys will find a place-kicker, but it's certainly a major need.
Adam Schefter updates us on the Beasts in the NFC East.
The Cowboys completed their staff by hiring Bobby King to replace Dat Nguyen as a defensive assistant coach. The team will also bring in Keith O'Quinn to serve as an offensive quality control scout.
Also expected to join the coaching staff is Keith O'Quinn, a former scout for the team who served as Director of Pro Scouting for Cleveland in 2009. When Mike Holmgren took over as president of the Browns, O'Quinn was among the front office personnel let go, and he now rejoins the team with whom he broke into the NFL as a scout in 2006. O'Quinn will take a share of the offensive quality control responsibilities, working on advanced scouting of upcoming opposing defenses. Given his experience evaluating talent for the team, O'Quinn could also contribute to the Cowboys' scouting department.
Special teams coach, Joe DeCamillis, will not join the coaching staff for the NFL Combine because of pain in his neck and back.
DeCamillis is still having problems related to the spine injury. As a result, he's going to miss the NFL scouting combine so he can go to Atlanta for a consultation with spinal specialists.
"It might be my impatience, but I want to do all I can to get some of this pain to go away,'' DeCamillis told David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. "With another set of eyes, maybe they can do something. Hopefully, they can give me some hope that will happen.''
The Cowboys are looking into conducting part of training camp in San Antonio and part back in Oxnard, CA.
If the Cowboys are selected for the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 8, they would start training about two weeks earlier than most teams. If that happens, the Cowboys could open camp in San Antonio for 2-3 weeks then travel to Canton, Ohio, for the game. After that, they could potentially finish camp in Oxnard.
"We had a conversation with the Cowboys. Nothing is definite, but they were just exploring some options," Oxnard City Manager Ed Sotelo told to the Ventura County (Calif.) Star. "There could be the possibility of them returning."
San Antonio city officials love having the Cowboys' camp at the Alamodome, but are understanding in that training part of the time in California could be beneficial to the team. The Cowboys will determine how to split practice time between the two cities once they see when their expected west coast preseason dates are scheduled.
"The good news is San Antonio would have the exciting part of training camp, the first two weeks," said former city council member Jeff Webster, who helps the Cowboys in their dealings with the city. "The Cowboys are committed to San Antonio. They have a real affinity for San Antonio, and they were thrilled with last year’s camp."
Alan Ball and Duke Preston each had minor ankle surgery.
Nick Folk is supposed to be in New York auditioning for a job.
With Jay Feely being a unrestricted free agent, it is hardly surprising to see the Jets just doing their due diligence, especially with a 25 year old kicker who has been shown to be reliable in the past. Folk will also audition with the Giants while he is in town.
Hat tip to elFURIOSOpozo for the FanPost.
DC.com continues its Roster Rundown series with backup QB Stephen McGee.
He's got a strong arm and some mobility, but played in a run-oriented offense for most of his college career and didn't have the experience of a pro style until he got to the NFL. But the Cowboys were pleased with his progress as a rookie and while it's not likely he will overtake Jon Kitna for the No. 2 job this off-season and training camp, McGee will get a chance. Don't expect the Cowboys to close the door on any possibility regarding the second position. And if McGee comes back this off-season and proves he can be a holder on field goals and extra points, that would be another feather in his cap.
Former sideline-hopping return man, Woody Dantzler, will be playing semi-pro football.
Today, Dantzler is 30, and he is busy. He swears he can’t close his eyes and envision the last snap he took on a football field. But, testament to Dantzler’s greatness, he is ready to put on the pads again, this time as a member of the Southern Indoor Football League’s Greenville Force.
If you are on twitter, follow the real Miles Austin (MilesAustinIII), Kevin Ogletree (KOforPrez), Jesse Holley (Mr4thAndLong), Jason Williams (TheRealJwill58), Marcus Dixon (marcusdixon92), and Marc Colombo (marccolombo).
Marc Colombo's official website rocks!.
The final tally for the Van Huesen Fan's Choice Hall of Fame vote is complete, and resulted in Emmitt Smith finishing second overall to Jerry Rice with 110,760 votes to Rice's 118,887.
Other Cowboys voted on were:
Ed "Too Tall" Jones who impressively finished third overall with 70,058 votes.
Right behind "Too Tall" in fourth place is Charles Haley with 65,046 votes.
Three Cowboys in the top five! For a while there I was getting worried that the Raiders' fans were going to get Ray Guy up over one of the 'Boys. Way to be involved Cowboys fans!
If you're still in the voting mood, the NFL is running its Fan Rankings for the 2010 season. So far, the fan community has the Cowboys ranked fifth overall in the league.