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Cowboys news: Could the Cowboys still sign a “name” wide receiver?

The Cowboys aren’t interested in paying premium prices in the first wave of free agency.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Crabtree could be a free-agent target -Peter Dawson- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Michael Crabtree was released by the Raiders and there are reports he's interested in joining a Texas team, what about Dallas?

Crabtree’s salary demands might keep him from joining a team in his home state. Considering his age (30), decline in production and less-than-exemplary character history, the Cowboys might be able to get a hometown discount.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, when it comes to free-agency, this seems to be the year of the receiver. Elite talents such as Sammy Watkins (signed by the Kansas City Chiefs), Allen Robinson (signed with the Chicago Bears) and Jarvis Landry (traded to the Cleveland Browns) are all off the market.

No, Wikipedia, the Cowboys have not acquired Earl Thomas from Seahawks (yet?)-Jori Epstein- SportsDay
Everyone wants Earl Thomas to become a Dallas Cowboy, even Wikipedia, where some editor moved a little too fast.

The six-time Pro Bowler’s Wikipedia page said otherwise Thursday afternoon, a day after the NFL’s 2018 free-agency period opened. The Cowboys have not made a move for Thomas as they look to a promising young secondary including 2017 draft picks Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods.

So would Thomas help Dallas?

”Oh yeah Earl Thomas - he’s the OG safety,” safety Kavon Frazier told SportsDay on Thursday evening. “Me, what I do in the box in the inside, Earl Thomas [and I], we could complement off each other very well.”

Cowboys free agency rumors: Reports surface that the Seahawks are negotiating with several teams about Earl Thomas - Dave Halprin-Blogging The Boys
Are the Cowboys in on Earl Thomas or not? It's hard to say with what Seattle is asking for.

It’s hard to believe someone is going to give up a first and third, this feels more like the Seahawks putting some kind of marker in the ground for where negotiations start. But it does open up the possibility that the Seahawks are serious about trading Thomas, and they are just setting a high bar for the start of talks.

Unfortunately none of the teams are named that are supposedly already talking to Seattle, so we can’t be sure of the Cowboys being anywhere near this or not. The starting asking price is very high plus the team trading for him would need a renegotiated contract which won’t be cheap. That’s a lot to give up, but Thomas is the real deal, so they will get a good return if they move him.

Seattle Seahawks: Earl Thomas trade bait in free agency -Peter Dawson- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Seattle Seahawks want to move safety Earl Thomas but the price is quite high and it's difficult to find a dancing partner.

Another major issue is one that explains why Thomas is even available in the first place. At present, the former All-Pro has one-year left on his current contract that carries a cap-hit of $10.4 million. That figure makes him the fourth highest-paid safety in the NFL for 2018, according to Spotrac.com.

The soon-to-be 29-year-old has said he wants a new, multi-year contract that will make him the highest-paid safety in the league. And while the team and the player have had discussions about an extension, Seattle seems to be at least planning for a potentially fast-approaching future without the anchor of their once-great secondary.

Cowboys’ Needs Taking Shape As Free Agency Market Begins To Settle -David Helman- Dallas Cowboys
While the spending spree continues the Cowboys remain out of the frey but that doesn't mean they don't have some things to address.

The Oakland Raiders signed Keith Smith to a two-year, $4.2 million deal, opening up a hole at the fullback position. Smith had been a restricted free agent, but the Cowboys opted not to extend him a tender, likely due to the inexpensive nature of his position.

It’s not exactly a huge surprise. Smith played his college career in the Bay Area, and the move creates a union with former Cowboys special teams coordinator and current Raiders special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia.

Dallas Cowboys have cap space coming with Travis Frederick restructure - Todd Archer- ESPN
When the Cowboys decide to officially push a trigger in Travis Frederick's contract, they will have a nice chunk of cap space.

The Cowboys will turn a significant amount of Frederick’s $10 million base salary into a signing bonus and prorate that over the next five years. While it lowers Frederick’s $13.235 million cap figure in 2018, it will raise his cap figures in 2019-22 by about $1.7 million each year.

The Cowboys can move more money around by restructuring other contracts, but they would prefer not to touch the deals for Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith or linebacker Sean Lee. They can also gain space by asking Dez Bryant to take a pay cut or by releasing players, such as cornerback Orlando Scandrick or tight end James Hanna.

Possible Pick: Size & Speed Helped SMU’s Sutton Become TD-Machine-Nick Eatman- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys writing staff look at the Cowboys' need at receiver to determine if Courtland Sutton could be a fit.

How He Helps The Cowboys:

The Cowboys need some playmaking receivers and Sutton can provide that. He’s not the fastest receiver in the group and not a perennial deep threat, but he can definitely extend a defense. He’s also a red-zone threat who scored 31 touchdowns in three seasons. Depending on what happens with Dez Bryant, the Cowboys could use a receiver ready to contribute right away. Sutton has the size to compete with NFL defensive backs and should be someone to step right in and make a difference.

How the 2012 offseason changed the Dallas Cowboys forever- Sam Quinn- 247Sports
The Cowboys have become conservative in building their roster and it probably stems from their last spending spree.

That changed in 2012. The Cowboys, having missed the playoffs in two consecutive seasons, decided that cornerback was their biggest need as a team. They were determined to fill both starting cornerback slots with the best players available, even if they only held that status due to the class being weak. They signed Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50 million deal as soon as free agency began, and then they traded up from No. 14 to No. 6 in the draft to select Morris Claiborne. They assumed that they had just secured the cornerback position for the next half decade.

They were wrong. Neither player was on the team in 2017. Neither player deserved to be, as both failed to live up to their billing as potential shutdown cornerbacks. Claiborne has officially reached journeyman status as he looks for his third team in three seasons. Carr has caught on with the Baltimore Ravens as a stopgap option. The Cowboys took two huge swings, and missed drastically on both.

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