Free agency has been trying for many Cowboys fans as they've watched other fans unpack their shiny new free agency presents, while the Cowboys faithful were stuck with what felt like a tie and couple of socks from some distant in-laws.
The lack of big-name signings has led some to question the Cowboys' commitment to winning, while others see the Cowboys' judicious approach to free agent acquisitions, and their unwillingness to overspend on free agents, as a sign that the Cowboys are following a successful process.
The Cowboys may not have made a lot of headlines by throwing around crazy money this offseason, but they have quietly acquired four free agents (Byron Bell, Nolan Carroll, Stephen Paea, Damontre Moore) along with re-signing five of their own free agents (Terrance Williams, Darren McFadden, David Irving, Brice Butler, Kellen Moore), even if they didn't break the bank for any of them.
Just what the Cowboys will do to fix the holes still left on the roster, and perhaps even upgrade those positions, is not very clear yet. The players they have brought in so far feel more like replacement-level players than immediate upgrades, but neither did George Selvie, Jeremy Mincey, Rolando McClain and even Darren McFadden at the time, but all proved valuable additions.
"I just think you live and you learn," Jones said. "I've said it always about free agency: Sometimes you're required to use it, but you better go in with your eyes wide open that you're overpaying. You're going to pay good players like they're great, average players like they're good, below average players like they're average. It's just not a great way to build a football team."
"But sometimes there's situations that do present themselves and you've got to be ready to do that if you see the right value there. Not a huge fan of having to go out and pay guys a lot of money, filling in big needs through unrestricted free agency. We'd rather build through the draft and then pay our own players."
There's no question that the Cowboys are doing exactly what they said they would, and they have stuck to their plan despite calls from all quarters for big-name free agents. But will that be enough?
The Cowboys probably won't make any of the "Free Agency Winners" lists that are even more ubiquitous than mock drafts at this time of year, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Which is why instead of asking you to grade the Cowboys free agency results, we're going to ask you about the Cowboys' approach to free agency in our poll of the day:
Do you approve of how the Cowboys have approached free agency this year?
Do you approve of how the Cowboys have approached free agency in 2017?
This poll is closed
I’m happy that we didn't overspend, but I'm worried about what the defense will look like this year.
Teams may not be able to win free agency, but the Cowboys definitely lost it.
Where's the panic button?