While league-wide free agency has been wild so far, all activity involving the Dallas Cowboys has been rather quiet. A few players have left for other teams while no notable names have joined the Cowboys. There have been a lot of questions wondering about in Cowboys Nation so I wanted to take a moment to provide some thoughts on the recent story lines.
Was releasing Orlando Scandrick the right move?
I’m a big fan of Scandrick, not only as an underrated performer on the field, but as vocal leader for this defense. He plays with a toughness that you don’t often get from a 5’10” 196-pound cornerback. It was always my feeling that the team would just let him play out his current deal and then go their separate ways. Fortunately for Dallas, they were able to take a big step forward in remodeling the cornerback group in last year’s draft with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis. And now, with news that Byron Jones will be moving over to play corner, the question becomes - what is Scandrick’s place on this team? And while the Cowboys may not be looking to draft a cornerback, this year’s crop is deep and a good one could still fall in their laps on Day 3.
You really don’t want Scandrick taking reps over the young guys as that would just make him a progress-stopper. Sure, he could just be a depth guy, but it’s clear that he wouldn’t be happy in that role and it doesn’t make good sense financially to just keep that contract on the books as insurance.
All things point to yes when it comes to cutting Scandrick being the right move. And designating him a post-June 1st cut frees up money to help sign the new draft class.
Are there any free agents that jump out at you as good targets for the Cowboys?
It should be interesting to see what happens with the safeties. Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, and Tre Boston are all young guys who are still on the market. If the Cowboys are interested in one of these players and their price drops far enough, they could get a good starter in free agency. While a move like that would appeal to the fan base, it still might be a little bit of a long-shot considering how frugal the front office is with their free agency spending.
The team needs to come away with a solid linebacker and guard to fill holes left by Anthony Hitchens and Jonathan Cooper (should he not re-sign). But don’t expect these guys to be household names as it’s likely to be a player not many have heard off. Like this guy for example:
G/C Marcus Martin will visit the Lions and Cowboys. Martin is a former third-round pick of the Niners. Started for parts of two seasons in SF. Spent last season with the Browns.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 17, 2018
Who should the Cowboys pick at 19?
This is something I’ve gone round and round with over the last few weeks. There are several good choices that are likely to be available when the Cowboys are on the clock. I find it real easy to talk myself out of players because of the potential grab of alternatives from the same position later in the draft. Would taking an electric playmaking receiver like Calvin Ridley or D.J. Moore be the right choice when there are so many good WRs in later rounds? Would it be wise to take a 1-tech player at 19 when there are viable two-down DTs available later? And then there are one of those guards who would definitely help the team, but is it a proper allocation of resources to get one so early?
These are all good points and they have swayed me back and forth. For me, I still have Da’Ron Payne graded with my first-round players and he stands the greatest chance to still be there at 19. I’m particularly interested in what Alabama coach Nick Saban has to say about him to the Cowboys coaching staff. He has a great relationship with Jason Garrett and a hard sell by Saban could get the Cowboys excited about adding Payne to the team.