Over the weekend we learned that the Cowboys were getting set to sign offensive tackle Cameron Fleming. While this is overall good news, the immediate question became whether he was joining the team as a swing or starting right tackle.
Like children waiting for Santa to deliver presents, we’ve been waiting for contract details to discern more information about Fleming’s soon-to-be role in Dallas. Ian Claus and St. Archer have arrived, giving us this much-needed information.
The Cowboys have signed free agent tackle Cameron Fleming to a one-year deal worth up to $3.5 million, according to sources. Fleming, who visited the Cowboys last week, started 20 of 47 career games for the New England Patriots, including Super Bowl... https://t.co/mCqxFI4Tk0— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 26, 2018
First of all, let’s note what a great deal that is for the Cowboys. They’ve actually been a little bit on fire lately, and this contract is more proof of that. Round of applause, Dallas.
Alright. So we now know that Cameron Fleming’s deal with the Cowboys is for one year and is up to $3.5M. While Ian Rapoport speculates that this could move La’el back inside, and he’s potentially speaking with inside knowledge (no pun intended), it’s just hard to see.
There are likely incentives and playing time that Fleming would have to reach in order to haul in the full value of his contract, so it’s theoretically worth less than $3.5M. This just doesn’t seem like starting right tackle money.
It’s possible that the Cowboys haven’t fully decided what they’re going to do with La’el and/or Fleming, and that they’re waiting until the draft. If they landed someone like Will Hernandez or Isaiah Wynn, obviously logic dictates that La’el would stay outside. If they landed [insert right tackle here because it’s hard to find a rookie who’d last to #19 that’d be worthy of starting from day one at right tackle] maybe La’el could indeed kick back inside.
I'd hate to keep moving La'el around BUT you could view the draft as a spot to grab either a guard or tackle, whichever gives you better value for the next 4-5 years.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) March 26, 2018
There are many who actually don’t want to see the Cowboys take even a left guard in the first round, citing multiple needs on defense that seem greater. That’s fair, but left guard is certainly a need. As much chagrin as people would feel about that, the Cowboys potentially taking a right tackle over any defensive player would definitely be weird.
For now, we know that Cameron Fleming is on a 1-year deal worth $3.5M. It makes all the sense in the world that this is swing tackle money. But to be fair, when has everything stayed making sense?