clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cowboys News: Cowboys Likely To Lose Many More Free Agents Than They Sign

For the latest free agent rumors, read BtB.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With free agency officially set to begin tomorrow, lots of things are expected to happen on the personnel front for the Cowboys. Here's an overview of the latest Cowboys headlines.


Why the Cowboys signing players won't be team's biggest free agency news this week - Brandon George, DMN

The biggest news this week is going to be about the Cowboys losing many of their free agents, who are likely to be priced beyond the team's budget -- Ronald Leary, Terrance Williams, Barry Church, Terrell McClain, Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne, and even J.J. Wilcox. But is that the worst outcome?

Free agency shouldn't be about overpaying for players, even if they are your own.

Dallas Cowboys' free-agency approach: Filling holes, not finding stars - Todd Archer, ESPN

Archer cites Darren McFadden and Jack Crawford as good free agent moves, while higher priced Greg Hardy was a bust.

The Cowboys believe the best way to improve the roster is through the draft, not via high-priced free agents. The last time they paid big money was in 2012 for Brandon Carr, who received a five-year, $50 million deal. While Carr played out the length of the contract, he never made a Pro Bowl and took a pay cut to stay in 2016. If the Cowboys are going to overpay players, they would much rather do it on players they have cultivated over the years. It doesn’t mean they will always be right, but the odds improve.

Hard to knock this approach given how the team has posted 12-4 and 13-3 records in the last three years.

Cowboys Restructure Sean Lee Contract, Create Over $5 Million In Cap Space - Michael Sisemore, BtB

To create space, the Cowboys end up restructuring their best players, which does push some money into future years. Other teams tend to do this with signing bonuses. Sean Lee becomes the third restructure this offseason, and more could follow if the Cowboys decide to get more aggressive. With Tony Romo's $48.9 million cap numbers likely coming off the books in 2018 and 2019, the Cowboys have a rare opportunity to move money into those seasons without having to suffer any consequences.

The Dallas Cowboys have got themselves a bit more salary cap space after flipping the trigger on linebacker Sean Lee’s contract. With the free agent market set to open on Thursday, Dallas was sitting at under $4 million in cap space, which was the least cap space in the league.

With nearly $9 million to work with, and a further $5.1 million bonus from trading Tony Romo, the Cowboys could sign a number of players, because cap hits in a player's first year can often be kept unusually low.

Cowboys believe staff continuity helps build roster philosophy - Todd Archer, ESPN

It also helps to keep the same coordinators, as this allows the team to be on the same page regarding the types of players it wants.

"We've done it a lot of different ways, and I just feel like continuity -- if you look around the league at some of the teams that have been successful, year in and year out, continuity is a big part of it," executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "Whether you look at a New England, a Pittsburgh, some of these teams that keep their coaches for long periods of time and therefore they're probably keeping their staffs for long periods of time. You're not changing philosophies. You're not having to start over again with the infrastructure of your football team because they have the same basic beliefs in what a football player should look like to be successful in their particular schemes. We're just big believers that the continuity part is a huge part of being successful over a period of time."

NFL Free Agency Rumor Tracker: Cowboys Free Agents, Cuts, Signings, Needs - BtB

Meanwhile, rumors abound. Check out the rumor tracker for articles on Kenny Britt, DeSean Jackson, Terrell McClain, DeMarcus Ware and Sheldon Richardson.

How Cowboys Can Use 2017 Free Agency To Get Four Extra Draft Picks In 2018 - OCC, Blogging The Boys

If the Cowboys do lose more free agents than they sign, they'll likely secure some extra compensatory draft picks next year.

For the Cowboys, there's a good chance they can get up to four comp picks in 2018, and not the cheap kind. All they need is to be judicious in free agency. And it looks like they are preparing to be just that.

None of this is particularly sexy, and the Cowboys won't show up on any of the regular "Top Free Agency Winners" lists two days after free agency starts. Yet in free agency, as in almost all walks of life, a simple reality (best encapsulated by a quote attributed to legendary basketball coach John Wooden) holds true:

"Never mistake activity for achievement"


At the combine, Dallas Cowboys' work is more than just the draft - Todd Archer, ESPN

Why are the Cowboys up against the cap? Because they have a lot of talented, young players on the team who are on second contracts. It's not because they've mismanaged their money.

"Because we’ve signed Tyron Smith, we’ve signed Dez Bryant, we’ve got [Tony] Romo on the books, trying to get Zack [Martin] signed, obviously got a high pick in [Ezekiel Elliott], the Sean Lees of the world, we’ve got some tightness there," Stephen Jones said, "so we can’t just say, ‘OK, we’re going to do this,’ with all our guys."

Dallas Cowboys pick TE with 'incredible ceiling' in national writer's post-combine mock draft - DMN Staff

David Njoku for tight end anyone?

Here, Jerry Jones finds a successor for Jason Witten. Njoku, one of the youngest players in this year's draft (he turns 21 in July) has an incredible ceiling. He has only been playing tight end for two years. A core featuring Njoku, Dak Prescott (23-years-old) and Ezekiel Elliott (21)? That will keep Dallas front-running in the NFC East for years to come.

Would be exciting, but the Cowboys can't afford spending too much draft capital on a tight end.


Jaylon Smith playing with a brace? A former NFL team doctor explains why expectations shouldn't be so high - DMN Staff

This article is sobering, as many of us were projecting Jaylon Smith's return to the field as a big factor in the potential improvement of the Cowboy's defense.

"He's starting to accelerate it a little more, but the question is how optimistic can you be when the drop foot is still there? What does it mean going forward? In all likelihood, he'll probably have to wear that brace if he plays in 2017 - which the Cowboys expect he will ... They think that he can be a very good player even if [the nerve] doesn't regenerate all the way. I think he can be a very good player, but I don't know what kind of limitations he's dealing with. They believe he'll be able to participate in OTAs. Now, will it be all-out, full-go, every day? I doubt it."

Will Tony Romo prove Jerry Jones knows more about QBs than John Elway? - Mark Kiszla, Denver Post

Finally, here's a writer with a Denver bias who thinks John Elway is going to get Romo without giving Dallas anything in return. Dream on.

Elway won’t blink. It behooves the Broncos to stay calm and wait patiently for Romo’s release, then see how cheaply they might obtain a veteran with a sterling quarterback rating and an ugly medical history. Yes, we all want our answers piping hot and fast from the microwave. Landing Romo, however, is a slow play, requiring the patience of a fly-fisherman.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys