Dallas was quite busy on the second day of free agency, and we'll start our round up of the latest Cowboys headlines with a look at the four players signed yesterday, and then move on to Tony Romo.
Terrance Williams Re-Signs With Cowboys On A 4-Year Deal - Dave Halprin, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys bring back one of their starters in receiver Terrance Williams.
Most observers of the Dallas Cowboys had written free agent Terrance Williams out of the organization’s plans. He would be too expensive the thinking went. Turns out, Williams is returning to the Cowboys on a 4-year, $17 million deal.
Those terms look very favorable for the Cowboys. Just over $4 million a year comes in far under what was initially projected.
Stephen Paea & Cowboys Agree To Terms On A Free Agent Deal - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
The Cowboys filled the void in the middle of the defensive line with a Marinelli guy, Stephen Paea.
Paea has plenty of experience working with Rod Marinelli and the Cowboys were in need of a one-tech defensive tackle with the loss of Terrell McClain to the Washington Redskins. Paea has appeared in 79 games in his seven-year career and has 125 tackles, 14 sacks, a safety, and three forced fumbles.
This is a great and underrated signing of a tackle that we covered two years ago as a great fit for the Dallas Cowboys. Dallas has now checked one more box off the list.
Nolan Carroll & Cowboys Agree To Terms On 3-Year Deal - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The Boys
They liked Nolan Carroll last year but couldn’t pry him away from those pesky Eagles. Times have changed, and Carroll joins the Cowboys on a 3-year, $10 million deal.
How this plays into the free agency of both Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr is unknown. With this signing, you could presume that they won’t be signing both of them, but the potential for signing one of them is still there as teams need to go four deep at cornerback in today’s NFL. And with the recent wide receiver signings in the East, the Cowboys need to stock up.
Right now, they have a rotation of Carroll, Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown. The 2017 draft is also said to be heavy with corners, so that could be another route.
Cowboys Free Agency: DE Damontre Moore Joins Flurry Of Signings - Tom Ryle, Blogging The Boys
Damontre Moore fills another need, but has some significant question marks, and the Cowboys are the fifth NFL team for the former 3rd-round pick.
Moore never lived up to his pre-draft expectations, accumulating only 10 sacks in his four years in the league so far, and he is coming off a foot injury near the end of last season while he was with Seattle. He is one player whose place with the team next fall is far from assured. His signing is definitely another example of the team filling holes prior to the draft, and with the wealth of pass rush talent coming out of college, he will have to earn his way onto the 53-man roster.
He has a lot of talent but he needs to get with the program if he does he can have a great career if not it's his last chance https://t.co/sV7oemDgrY— Birddog26 (@Birddog26) March 11, 2017
Are Cowboys better after Friday's late free agent flurry? - Brandon George, SportsDay
George summarizes what the Cowboys have done with their free agent signings.
All four players help fill glaring holes on the roster and should at least put the Cowboys in much better position to execute a pure draft in April without having to reach for need.
The four additions also didn't force the salary-cap strapped Cowboys to go outside of their comfort zone and break the bank.
Cowboys are signing dudes so they have a roster they could play with if needed. Now draft the best guys. Right way to roll.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) March 11, 2017
Cowboys Comp Pick Tracker - Blogging The Boys
Stephen Paea and Nolan Carroll each cancel out a pick, while Damontre Morre likely signed for something very close to the vet minimum and will not count as a compensatory free agent. Here's the current tally, which will continue to change over the next few days.
|Dallas Cowboys Comp Pick Tracker|
|Qualifying Free Agents Lost: 4||Qualifying Free Agents Gained: 0|
|Name||Rd.||Annual Value||Name||Rd.||Annual Value|
|Ronald Leary||4th||$8,750,000||- -||- -|
|Barry Church||4th||$6,500,000||- -||- -|
|Terrell McClain||5th||$5,250,000||Nolan Carroll
|Jack Crawford||6th||$3,433,333||Stephen Paea
|Non-Compensatory free agents|
Tony Romo trade options: What needs to happen to facilitate a deal? - Troy Renk, 7NEWS Denver
current contract has a base salary of $14 million for 2017, which is dirt cheap for a potential franchise quarterback, but could be a little high for a quarterback whose back may not escape the next sack unscathed.
Bill Polian suggests the Cowboys may need to re-work Tony Romo's contract before he becomes a viable trade option.
Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian painted the following scenario as a roadmap for any deal on ESPN radio Friday. It begins with Romo restructuring his contract as a member of the Cowboys. He has power, and could work directly with those he's familiar with in reducing his salary. Why? Without doing it, he could block any deal and say he's not going to restructure for the new team, like for example's sake, the New York Jets.
If Jones can work with Romo on a reworked deal, it could increase the odds of a trade. The Cowboys, it follows in this scenario, would be communicating with the Texans and Broncos on a number they would find feasible. The lower Romo's salary the more likely the Cowboys get a draft pick for him. If Romo dropped to $10 million next season, his deal could could also include performance attachments to a draft pick. If he starts 14 games, a seventh round pick becomes a sixth-round pick or a even a fifth-round pick if he takes a predetermined number of snaps, for instance. Lowering the base salary with incentives provides a measure of injury protection for a team acquiring a quarterback who has played in five games the past two seasons, throwing six touchdowns with seven interceptions.
As Polian stated, "the lower the cost of (Romo's contract), the more you are likely given in return."
Not everyody agrees with Polian though.
One thing people have missed -- Romo's deal is VERY tradeable. $14M for 2017. And basically team options for '18 ($19.5M) and '19 ($20.5M). https://t.co/VC46vesy0E— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 9, 2017
NFL free agency: Broncos should do whatever it takes to acquire Tony Romo - Alex Marvez, Sporting News
Marvez points out that guards don't win Super Bowls, but QBs do. Which is why he writes the Broncos must make a run at Tony Romo.
Broncos football poobah John Elway shouldn’t mess around. Don’t wait to see if Romo gets released by Dallas. Send the Cowboys a draft pick – provided it’s within reason -- to insure Romo is in the fold before Denver gets outmaneuvered by Houston for his services.
Denver needs a difference-maker under center for its best chance of winning what has become a rough-and-tumble AFC West let alone catch New England atop the conference. The Broncos simply don’t have that quarterback right now in Siemian or Lynch. In his first year as Denver’s starter, Siemian displayed the earmarks of a middle-of-the-road quarterback who can get your team into the playoffs and not much further. Lynch may have more upside, but as evidenced by his two rookie starts last season, remains the proverbial work-in-progress.
This is where Romo comes in.
Tony Romo wanted by Fox as John Lynch's replacement as analyst - Todd Archer, ESPN
With uncertainty hanging over Tony Romo's future in Dallas, Fox Sports is expressing interest in Romo as an analyst in the broadcast booth.
Sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Fox Sports would like Romo to be an analyst, replacing John Lynch, who left to become the San Francisco 49ers general manager in late January.
Retirement has always been among Romo's options. [...] There could be off-field options that would allow Romo to walk away from the game.
Dallas Cowboys' offseason direction in hands of Will McClay - J.J. Taylor, ESPN
The Cowboys have made smart offseason decisions over the past few seasons because scouting director Will McClay has provided a more focused direction, Taylor writes, and the Cowboys need McClay to come through once again.
Under McClay, the Cowboys prefer to draft highly productive players from Power 5 conferences. They prefer players with high football intelligence, who have been captains. They shy away from players from small schools unless they're dominant because their transition to the NFL is much more difficult to predict.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, vice president Stephen Jones and coach Jason Garrett have used McClay's reports to pluck players such as defensive end David Irving from opposing practice squads.
They've signed McClain, Crawford and Benson Mayowa based on his recommendations -- players who who generated little conversation when they signed but contributed to the Cowboys' 13-3 record last season. Mayowa, who had three career sacks coming in, led the team with six last season after signing a three-year, $8 million deal. Those are the types of free agents the Cowboys will sign this offseason.
Mailbag: When Will Dallas Get Active In Free Agency? - Dallas Cowboys Staff
Bryan Broaddus addresses the growing anxiety many Cowboys fans were feeling about the exodus of players from Dallas coupled with the Cowboys' initial lack of activity in free agency.
Bryan: As painful as this might be now, the core of this team is better than the players they’re losing. With the draft and college free agency they will be able to supplement their holes – I have no doubt about this.
Zack Martin set to cash in this summer after free agency payday - Todd Archer, Dallas Cowboys Blog- ESPN
OG Kevin Zeitler signed a record $60 million deal, which is good news for Zack Martin, as Archer explains.
The Cleveland Browns signed guard Kevin Zeitler to a five-year, $60 million deal that includes $31.5 million in guarantees. Zeitler became the NFL’s highest-paid guard.
He could have that designation for a few months because Martin almost certainly will supersede that, and deservedly so.
Martin will soon become the highest-paid guard.