The Dallas Cowboys have been relatively quiet so far in free agency. Bringing back Rolando McClain on an incentive-based deal was huge, as it gives them a competent player who plays at a Pro Bowl level at times as well as one that has manned both the Will linebacker position and the Mike linebacker position. Sticking with the "bringing back their own" ideology, the Cowboys re-signed cornerback Morris Claiborne, linebacker Kyle Wilber, swing-tackle Charles Brown and tight end James Hanna on Friday.
Interestingly enough, Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones had this to say about free agency and the importance of the draft compared to free agency:
"I’m not a big fan of free agency; I’ll be the first to admit it. Unfortunately, good players get paid like they’re great players, average players get paid like they’re good players and it’s a domino effect. It’s not a great way to put your team together. Obviously you'd like to build your team through the draft and keep your players that hopefully you drafted well and keep those type of players so we're not out there in free agency."
Dallas made its first splash signing in free agency Thursday night by adding defensive tackle Cedric Thornton to a four-year deal worth up to $18 million. And while the team may wait and let the market play itself out before making another big move, the fact remains that there are still a ton of players that could make sense for this football team. These five free agents seem to be the best fits.
Tony Jefferson, Safety
At 24 years old, the market for Tony Jefferson should be good since he has been a big contributor for one of the best defenses in football over the past few years (Cardinals). He's an adept tackler who can cover as well.
The days of J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church as a tandem are likely ending soon and if Byron Jones is indeed making the switch to play free safety, putting Jefferson back there with him wouldn't be a bad idea at all. Jefferson is a restricted free agent but with the lowest tender, still, prying him away from the Arizona Cardinals might be difficult. Regardless, Jefferson is a guy that could come in and bring more athleticism to the secondary.
Jason Jones, Defensive End
Patrick Robinson, Cornerback
Despite coming off his best season as a pro, Patrick Robinson has yet to re-sign with the San Diego Chargers. One team that should definitely have interest is the Cowboys. Robinson wouldn't cost much and he's still only 28 years old. While the Cowboys just re-signed Morris Claiborne, Brandon Carr is still a target to be designated as a post June 1st cut. If that happens, signing another cornerback in free agency makes sense and Robinson may be the perfect fit.
Sure Jalen Ramsey would be an amazing pick, but he may not be available when the Cowboys are on the board and he may be better suited as strong safety. Robinson is a solid cornerback who can play both inside and outside and if the Cowboys can nab him, they'd get a guy who can bring that low-risk, high-reward type of scenario the Cowboys seem to look for in their free agency finds.
Chris Long, Defensive End
The Cowboys have been linked to Chris Long in the past few days and it comes with good reason. While Long will be 31 years old at the start of the season, the Cowboys could look for a veteran pass rusher to help the developments of Randy Gregory and Demarcus Lawrence. Long has missed 14 games in the past two seasons and while he's not his old self, the Cowboys could still be able to eek out some sort of production out of Long if he's placed in the right role. The problem will obviously come down to price and how the Cowboys view his health.
James Starks, Running Back
I'm a bigger fan of James Starks than most. Behind the shadow of Eddie Lacy, Starks has yet to have gotten the chance to truly break out, but if the Cowboys want to go the route of free agency on top of the draft to upgrade the running back position, Starks seems to be a good fit. While he did recently turn 30, there isn't a ton of wear-and-tear on his body. If he can be signed at the right price, the Cowboys would benefit from a running back committee with Darren McFadden, Starks, and some rookie.