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Dallas Cowboys 2014 Free Agents: Jason Hatcher, Anthony Spencer Lead List

Dallas has decisions to make about some of their free agents, but the salary cap will inform much of the discussion.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Besides figuring out their coaching staff, the Cowboys also have to start thinking about free agents. First, you usually look in-house to see which players you might want to keep, and if you can afford to keep them. Unfortunately, the Cowboys are in a little bit of a salary cap mess and spending big in free agency just isn't in the cards. Although not spending in free agency can sometimes turn out to be a good thing. It's part of how you avoid salary cap issues in the first place.

This year, the Cowboys have a couple of big names hitting free agency at one of their most vulnerable positions. Outside of that, they are actually in pretty good shape with respect to their own free agents.

Anthony Spencer and Jason Hatcher are free agents along the defensive line. No position was more troublesome in 2013 than the defensive line. Can the Cowboys sign one or both? At this point, I'd guess no and that Dallas will start looking towards the draft for replacements.

Along the offensive line, Brian Waters and Ryan Cook are free agents. Waters was likely a consideration fro re-signing until he got hurt, but the play of Mackenzy Bernadeau as his replacement likely renders this discussion moot. Cook is what he is, a journeyman vet who is a nice to have at the right price.

Some of the other guys represent various degrees of importance.

Danny McCray is a special teams guy but a liability on defense. Unless he wants to play at the vet minimum, he'll have to move on. Even at the minimum, the Cowboys could choose to save money by going very young here. Dan Bailey is a restricted free agent, given how good he has been, the Cowboys should keep him in the fold.

Phillip Tanner has yet to move into any meaningful role on offense, the Cowboys will probably start over with a rookie. Punter Chris Jones is another restricted guy, the Cowboys could go either way here. Ernie Sims should be gone. Jarius Wynn was pretty cheap for Dallas but also didn't produce too much. He could remain as a backup. Edgar Jones is in the same boat but produced even less.

Then there is my favorite free agent of 2014 for Dallas, Jon Kitna. Imagine the money you could have won on a bet at the beginning of the year if you had said Kitna would be the backup QB in Week 17. Have fun back at school Kitna, you're a class act!

Below is the full list of Cowboys free agents. What are your thoughts?

Anthony Spencer 
Jason Hatcher 
Brian Waters
Ryan Cook 
Danny McCray
Dan Bailey 
Phillip Tanner 
Chris Jones 
Ernie Sims 
Edgar Jones 
Jarius Wynn 
Jon Kitna

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