NFL free agency is off and running with players changing teams all over the place. That had little to do with the Dallas Cowboys, who are known for waiting until Phase 2 of free agency, or even Phase 3, when the bargains can be had. Phase 1 is still on-going, but soon the absolutely crazy money that is being thrown around will start to settle, and we’ll enter Phase 2, where contracts tend to be more normal. This is a spot the Cowboys may get involved with, depending on player and price. We know they will participate in Phase 3, where the players start getting desperate to find a home with a decent contract, and real bargains can be had, but that is still a little ways off.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at the “best still available” free agents in four areas that might most tempt the Cowboys. We’re relying on a list from SB Nation for this exercise.
Things move fast, so by the time you’re reading this, some of these names might have signed, just keep that in mind.
The Cowboys could look to fill the empty left guard spot from some of the remaining free agents.
Best Available: G Josh Sitton, G Justin Pugh, G Jack Mewhort,
Other available: G/C Matt Slauson, G/C Joe Berger, G/C Evan Smith, G Jahri Evans
The Cowboys own free agent, a guy who started most of the year, Jonathan Cooper, doesn’t even make their list. That is seriously underestimating how improved Cooper was last year over his previous NFL career. Josh Sitton was once a Pro Bowl player, but age and injury are starting to catch up. Justin Pugh might be too expensive. Jack Mewhort had a fast start to his career, but the past couple for years injuries have really slowed him down. If he could get healthy he’s got a chance to be good.
The Cowboys need a defensive tackle at some point.
Best Available: Ndamukong Suh, Sheldon Richardson, Dontari Poe
Other available: Bennie Logan, Dominique Easley, Nick Fairley, Jay Bromley
It’s unlikely the Cowboys could afford what those top three guys (Suh, Richardson and Poe) will get, although there are reports the Cowboys have an interest in Suh. Some guys further down that list are interesting. Bennie Logan is an established vet, or Jay Bromley is a guy who has shown some potential.
With Anthony Hitchens leaving, the Cowboys may want to add a vet backup for the rotation with Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith.
Best Available: Tahir Whitehead, NaVorro Bowman
Other available: Zach Brown, Connor Barwin, Lamarr Houston, Brian Cushing, Barkevious Mingo, Jerrell Freeman, Derrick Johnson, Jon Bostic, Kevin Minter, Gerald Hodges
NaVorro Bowman was a guy they were reportedly interested in signing last year. Zach Brown was effective in run defense last season.
Byron Jones is now a corner, so a vet safety brought into compete could be in the cards.
Best Available: Tyrann Mathieu, Morgan Burnett, Eric Reid, Kenny Vaccaro, Tyvon Branch
Other available: Steven Terrell, Tre Boston, Marcus Gilchrist, Quintin Demps, Reggie Nelson, Ron Parker, Mike Mitchell
The Honey Badger was released, but he should still command so big dollars. Kenny Vacarro is still out there, his name has been brought many times in relation to the Cowboys. Tre Boston is another name to watch.
Since the Cowboys reportedly were very serious about their pursuit of Sammy Watkins, we’re going to look at the rest of the available wide receivers.
Best Available: Terrelle Pryor, Jordan Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace
Other available: Eric Decker, Bruce Ellington, Brice Butler, Kendall Wright, Jeremy Maclin, Markus Wheaton
Will the Cowboys make another play, or will they look to the draft instead and use the money elsewhere?
Who ya got as a Cowboys target in free agency from the names still available? Maybe from another position besides those listed above?