Dilemma In Dallas: Unrestricted Free Agents; Eatman Floats Barber Trade Rumor

The Dallas Cowboys have six unrestricted free agents, which means if they are not signed before March 1, they can contract with other teams without the Cowboys getting compensation.

The players are: safety Ken Hamlin, left tackle Flozell Adams, running back Julius Jones, cornerback Jacques Reeves, cornerback Nate Jones and safety Keith Davis.

Of those six, Hamlin and Adams are going to get the most attention. Hamlin, who signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys from Seattle, proved his worth. He’s in the Pro Bowl and he outplayed the Cowboys other safety Roy Williams. Adams, maybe best known for his regular false starts, also made the Pro Bowl. A contract with the Cowboys would likely mean he ends his career in Dallas. Cowboys fans also hope Davis can be signed because of his value on special teams. There is the chance he replaces Roy Williams, whose career is plummeting. Julius Jones already said he didn’t think he’d be playing in Dallas, and I am hard-pressed to come up with reasons why he should be signed. Reeves needs to be thrown to the curb. He’s had opportunities to shine and he hasn’t. A lot of fans are perturbed with Reeves. Nate Jones isn’t really worth a whole lot in my book. But because he knows the schemes, he could be afforded a small contract to stay.

So, that leaves us with Hamlin and Adams as the two top free agents who are likely to get offers from the Cowboys. Here is my opinion: Definitely sign Hamlin. I am surprised he wasn’t offered a contract midseason because it was obvious from the get-go that Hamlin was a steal at $1 million. He played hard, he defended well and he picked off passes.

I am struggling with whether to sign Adams. I truly believe that his regular false starts hurt the Cowboys more than people think. That mental weakness is unhealthy and although he possibly had one of his best years, he’s going on his 11th year in the NFL. Can the Cowboys go after Steelers LT Trai Essex? He might do just as well. I am sure I will get heat for this.

The problem is a little different with restricted free agents. Two on the list are key players to the Cowboys future: running back Marion Barber and defensive end Chris Canty.

Barber has been rumored as possible trade bait for the Cowboys to snag additional picks or players. It’s doubtful. It they are not signed by March 1, teams can tender offers. But if they sign with another team, that team has to cough up draft picks, like a 1st and 3rd round, which are picks neither is worth in my opinion.

Nick Eatman has a good post up on the free agency problems facing the Cowboys, who by the way, have good cap room to make some moves. Look what Eatman says about Barber though:

Unless the Dolphins get crazy and dangle the first-round pick in front of the Cowboys for the rights to sign Barber, expect him to be back as the team’s starting running back. And even then, there’s no guarantee the Cowboys would take it. Barber has proven himself here in the last two years and figures to be the running back of the future here in Dallas.

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Tags: Chris Canty Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Free Agents Flozell Adams Jacques Reeves Julius Jones Keith Davis Ken Hamlin Marion Barber Marion Barber Trade Nate Jones Nick Eatman Roy Williams Trades Trai Essex

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