UPDATE: Cowboys sign Greg Hardy.
UPDATE: Cowboys sign RB Darren McFadden.
UPDATE: Cowboys sign LB Jasper Brinkley.
UPDATE: Henry Melton to Bucs.
UPDATE: Cowboys sign FB Jed Collins.
UPDATE: DeMarco Murray visiting Philly.
UPDATE: Henry Melton to visit Tampa Bay.
UPDATE: Bruce Carter to visit Tampa Bay.
UPDATE: No tender contract for restricted free agent Sterling Moore, Cowboys offer Lance Dunabr and Chris Jones tenders at $1.542 million.
UPDATE: Rumors - Cowboys interest in Adrian Clayborn.
UPDATE: Rumors - Cowboys interest in Stephen Paea.
The 2015 NFL free agency period is about to open. It officially starts on March 10th, but the three-day legal tampering period begins tomorrow. During that time, teams can talk to soon-to-be free agents, but can't sign them until the official start of free agency. Of course, players that have been released by other teams can sign at any time, and a team can sign their own free agents at any time.
The Cowboys have a couple of the big names in free agency, but they already made a move to keep one of them. Dez Bryant was slapped with the non-exclusive franchise tag and will likely play for $12.8 million this year, or get a long-term deal done over the next few months. DeMarco Murray, on the other hand, will test the market but has said all things being equal he would return to Dallas.
Here is where the Cowboys stand in terms of their own free agents, and players they have signed.
Unrestricted Free Agents
Dez Bryant - He was never going anywhere, the Cowboys have franchised him.
DeMarco Murray - This is the big one for the Cowboys internally. It probably comes down to wht other teams are willing to offer Murray. Dallas is counting on a depressed market for running backs to help keep his cost down. Murray has made noise about allowing the Cowboys to match any offers. Complicating factors: The draft is full of talented running backs, and the Adrian Peterson to Dallas rumors are still out there after sources said AP would reduce his salary to facilitate a trade.
Rolando McClain - The Cowboys loved his play on the field, but his inability to stay healthy, and some minor distractions off the field have made this one a little trickier. Still, expect the Cowboys to make a reasonable offer to keep him.
Doug Free - The Cowboys need to decide if Free, or Jermey Parnell, is the future at right tackle. It seems unlikely they will keep both. [UPDATE: According to sources the Cowboys are closing in on a deal with Free.] [SECOND UPDATE: Cowboys sign Free to three-year, $15 million deal.]
Jermey Parnell - See above. [UPDATE: If Dallas signs Free as rumored, Parnell will likely hit the market.][UPDATE: Jermey Parnell expected to sign with Jags on Tuesday.]
Justin Durant - Durant played very well for Dallas before suffering a season-ending injury. With the way Rod Marinelli gushed over Durant's play, expect the Cowboys to make a run at him. Durant says he's back healthy and rumors are Dallas is already talking with him about a return. [UPDATE: Will reportedly sign with Atlanta.]
Anthony Spencer - He came on strong at the end of the year, but his age and injury history works against him. Still, if there is one free agent defensive linemen the Cowboys likely keep, you would think it would be Spencer.
Nick Hayden - He's been a starter but his play hasn't really been inspiring. The Cowboys could certainly use an upgrade here.
George Selvie - The Cowboys rescued Selvie from the scrap heap in 2013, and he turned in a solid season. 2014 was drop-off for the defensive end, the Cowboys could look for someone with more upside.
Henry Melton - The Cowboys signed him to a show-me contract in 2014, Melton didn't show enough. His return to Dallas is doubtful. [UPDATE: Visiting Tampa Bay.]
Bruce Carter - He's never really solidified his spot in Dallas, and with Sean Lee, Anthony Hitchens and new signee Keith Rivers in the fold, and with Dallas likely to pursue McClain and Durant, Carter looks like the odd man out. [UPDATE: Visiting Tampa Bay.]
Dwayne Harris - A good special teams player, but can the Cowboys afford to keep him? This will all depend on what the market will pay for Harris. [UPDATE: Signed with Giants.]
C.J. Spillman - Another special teams ace, but he can also sub in at safety if needed. Again, it all depends on the market.
Tyler Clutts - If the Cowboys are going to keep a fullback, and with their newly-found commitment to the run, then Clutts likely will come back. Also a good special teams player.
James Anderson - The linebacker is a long shot.
Tony Hills - Purely depth, only if he comes very cheap.
Restricted Free Agents
Cole Beasley - The Cowboys signed their slot receiver to a four-year deal a few days ago.
Lance Dunbar - He has talent but he just can't break into the rotation at running back. In 2013 he was injured when given the chance, this year Murray ate up most of the running back snaps. The Cowboys like him as a change -of-pace back, he likely will be given another shot. [UPDATE: Cowboys offer $1.542 million tender.]
Chris Jones - Jones may return as the punter, but they will surely bring in competition. [UPDATE: Cowboys offer $1.542 million tender.]
Sterling Moore - The Cowboys should really make an effort to sign Moore, he did well when asked to fill in as the third corner. With the Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne issues in flux, the Cowboys could use a stable option like Moore. [UPDATE: Cowboys do not offer a tender to Moore, free to negotiate with other teams.]
Exclusive Rights Free Agents
Ronald Leary - Signed a one-year tender.
Cameron Lawrence - Signed a one-year tender.
Darrion Weems - Signed a one-year tender.
New Free Agents Signed
Keith Rivers - The Cowboys signed the veteran linebacker to a one-year deal. He might offer the vet depth they want if they decide not to bring back Bruce Carter.