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Dallas Cowboys Free Agency: Money For Nothing Keeps Cowboys Calm In Opening Of Free Agency

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Free agency has opened up and all over the league, we are getting a grasp on who's going to be this year's big spenders. It certainly won't be the Cowboys.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Though I have been on the table all offseason long about the Cowboys making some moves during free agency, it's important to remember that they prefer the slow and steady race. We already know that they won't make big splashes, still, every year fans get so hurt when they don't. Here's something I saw run across the Twitterverse today that should put some things into perspective:

Out of all those teams in the last 10 years of major free agency spending, the Eagles are the only one with a .500 record or better. That's pretty darn telling if you ask me. The Cowboys have been pretty honest in the past few seasons and especially the Jones'. Stephen laid it all out for us less than a month ago:

"I’m not a big fan of free agency; I’ll be the first to admit it," Jones told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine. "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."

They have seen firsthand with Brandon Carr that spending high dollar on free agents is just not the way to go in most cases. It's a totally different story when folks bring up the past with Deion Sanders and Charles Haley. In the 1990's, the Cowboys were literally a player or two away from the Super Bowl. The league has created so much parity, that you are almost never just a signing here or there away. Besides, those two signings could very well go down in history as two of the best free agent signings of all time and they both came in the no-cap era. So, when Stephen adds this:

"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."

...we know that he means business here and isn't likely to get into bidding wars with anyone. Case in point, we all like Lamar Miller but he's off to the Texans on a four-year, $26 million deal, with $14 million guaranteed. That's an average of $6.5 million per year and it's safe to say the Cowboys are not about to match that. Especially when you consider that if they went and drafted one, it'll be a lot less. Even if they took Ezekiel Elliott at the fourth-overall pick, that's going to be a cap-hit of $4.1 million, saving them $2.4 million and netting possibly a better player.

The Cowboys aren't the only team to adopt the mantra that your own players are better to keep around. The Green Bay Packers didn't make a single splash in free agency last season and they made the playoffs. Had Jordy Nelson been available to them, they may have done even better. Check this out from someone who totally gets it:
That's the voice of an angry Dolphins fan, but who could argue that it's not true? They also have to worry about Rishard Matthews and Derrick Shelby. They just released their four-time Pro Bowl cornerback in Brent Grimes. Don't forget backup quarterback Matt Moorewho is taking a visit to Dallas tomorrow.

Even though Olivier Vernon was a good draft pick, can anyone justify giving him this?

The Cowboys have made three moves since the beginning of the week. They tendered Ronald Leary, Jeff Heath and re-signed Rolando McClain. Nobody's too excited about those but trust me, they are big in the eyes of the brass that controls this team. In their eyes, they just took care of their starting middle linebacker, starting caliber backup guard and best special teams player not named Dan Bailey. That's not too bad.

We got a large group of smart fans in the forum of BTB, they're being quiet and rightfully so. Of course, you want them to start upgrading a team that was 4-12 last season and they certainly will; in due time. There is nothing wrong with waiting because there will be good players looking for jobs in a week. Once desperation sets in, the prices come down. The key to the offseason is not showing up on NFL Networks' "teams that won free agency" list.

Looking at the rumors my amazing colleagues have been running around to gather all day long, the Cowboys have some interest in getting involved but just on their own terms. They will bring guys in for visits and will sign a few contracts that make sense to them. They will obviously have to address a depleted defensive line but we have to remember to temper those expectations here. Nobody wins the Super Bowl in free agency and patience can be a virtue.

So, when all these big names start showing up on other rosters and it tends to throw some people into the panic pool on various social media outlets, don't take the bait. They certainly have a long list of needs but getting into bidding wars isn't the right approach. The boss laid it out weeks ago, it's amazing that some folks are scratching their heads. The Dallas Cowboys will add pieces but nobody is worth overpaying on day one of free agency. I don't see any Charles Haley's or Deion Sanders' out there that are taking this team right to the Super Bowl, do you? That Dire Straits' song "Money For Nothing" is ringing in the halls of Valley Ranch right now and there's no problem with that.