Grades for free agency? Already? Sure, why not. Bleacher Report took a stab at handing out grades for the efforts of each team so far in free agency. They were pretty harsh graders. Not even the signing of Earl Thomas could save the Baltimore Ravens from getting a D grade. The Cincinnati Bengals got an F!
So how did the Dallas Cowboys fare? Pretty well. The Cowboys received an overall grade of B+ that could turn into an A with one move.
The context around each grade was broken down into four categories.
What they needed to do
What they did right
Where they went wrong
What they should do now
In the “what they need to do” category it was rightly recognized that keeping DeMarcus Lawrence was the top mission. They also mentioned that in-house contracts coming up should be a big concern for Dallas.
Now we “turn to what they did right.” It’s rightly noted the Cowboys at least franchise tagged DeMarcus Lawrence, something they had to do at a minimum. They were also given points for signing Randall Cobb to replace Cole Beasley. Then Bleacher Report does something unusual when discussing the Cowboys free agency, they give points for remaining “conservative” with their money, noting the group of young players that are going to require large contracts coming up like Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper, among others. Kudos for recognizing this fact.
In the “what they did wrong” section they ding the organization for not being able to reach a long-term deal with DeMarcus Lawrence, and oddly call the deal for Jason Witten a little silly. Debating just how much Witten has left in the tank is surely legit, but the tight end’s base contract, and even the incentives, are pocket change in the grand scheme. Not sure why this one is in their evaluation unless they just needed some more fodder for this particular section of the article. That’s actually a good thing, it means they didn’t have a lot of bad things to bring up.
In the final section, the “what they need to do now” part, they contend that with one move the Cowboys could raise their B+ to an A. Sign Eric Berry (or some other starting-level defensive back). The Cowboys are still in the running to get Berry, so maybe they will get that A after all.
Not mentioned in this evaluation are some of the good under-the-radar moves the Cowboys have made. The signing of Christian Covington and Kerry Hyder along the defensive line are very solid additions that will play a major role in that unit’s rotation. Also, getting their swing tackle back in Cam Fleming was important.
The NFC East grades:
New York: D-
What’s your grade for the Cowboys so far?