With the Cowboys taking a backseat in the free agency extravaganza, it has a lot of fans bellyaching. It feels very similar to the 2014 offseason when the Cowboys parted ways with DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher, only to turn around in free agency and replace their roster spots with the blah signings of Terrell McClain and Jeremy Mincey. That did not go over very well in Cowboys Nation.
Then, a month later the team grabbed Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Anthony Hitchens with their top three selections in the draft. All these rookies would have good seasons and come up with big plays on route to a 12-4 seasons, including a playoff victory.
During the offseason last year, fans started showing a little more patience with the Cowboys disciplined approach in free agency. Dallas did indulge when they signed Greg Hardy, but they were very cautious when it came to shoveling out money to free agents. They even let their own 1,800+ yard star running back walk.
But the Cowboys did not go 12-4 last season so the front office strategy is once again being questioned. And now, they are back to their same-old ways of not making any big signings this offseason. Even though we all should have seen it coming, it somehow manages to surprise us.
This is the right way to go. And there's proof.
Last year, the late-rabblerousr (he's still alive, just sorely missed) wrote a nice piece about which NFC East team has the most effective front office. In this article, Rabs brings attention to the fact the Washington Redskins got themselves a new general manager, Scot McCloughan, who helped win Super Bowls in Green Bay (1996) and Seattle (2013), as well as helping the San Francisco 49ers reach the NFC Championship three straight seasons (2011-2013). He played a part in making some later round draft picks very rich - Russell Wilson (3rd round in 2011), Richard Sherman (4th in 2011), Kam Chancellor (5th in 2012), and Byron Maxwell (6th in 2011).
That's an impressive resume and now he's with Washington.
The once splurging Redskins organization have simmered down. They've been equally quiet in free agency, with their biggest move being the franchise tagging of Kirk Cousins. Even after a great season, Washington isn't so quick to sign him to a big contract. Other moves for the Redskins include cutting ties with some poor investments - Dashon Goldson and Jason Hatcher. Washington also drafted well last season. Brandon Scherff (1st round), Preston Smith (2nd), Matt Jones (3rd), and Jamison Crowder (4th) all had good rookie seasons.
The Redskins won the division last year. That's a nice debut for the Skins new GM.
We all are privy to the risks with free agency. While some players can be nice pickups, most free agents meet this description:
- They are players that their own team ultimately did not choose to retain.
- They are players that cost a price that was determined by the highest bid of other interested teams.
Both these factors together usually result in an overpriced contract that is just too hard to live up to. So when the Cowboys aren't spending a lot of money in free agency, it shouldn't be worrisome, but rather - satisfying. But the real thing that should get the blood flowing is the fact that the Cowboys have some great draft spots next month. That is where they'll do their damage. Good, solid drafting. Free agency has its place, but the real meat is in the draft. You don't go out to a nice restaurant and fill up on appetizers.
While some Cowboys fans seemed worried that the New York Giants are making big moves or that the Philadelphia Eagles are quickly "righting the ship" of Chip Kelly's titanic personnel decisions, the real concern should be directed at the reigning divisional champs. The Redskins are doing things the right way. But they are just following in the footsteps of the division champs before them. While Stephen Jones and Will McClay haven't achieved what McCloughan has, the Cowboys have gotten a head start on building their team.
How do you feel about how the Cowboys are approaching free agency? Are you calm or has the lack of activity started to make you nervous?