Dec 26, 2010; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (21) runs with an interception against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

So it Begins… Dallas Cowboys Free Agency Headlines


My phone died yesterday. Twitter blew it up with all the players visiting teams and Redskin fans crying about how myself and fellow Landry Hat writer Mark Contreras believe that Redskins are still going to be at the Bottom of the Food Chain (If you didn’t read our articles, you can find them here and here).

Dec 18, 2011; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Brandon Carr (39) celebrates what he thought was an interception against the Green Bay Packers in the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The pass was called incomplete because he landed out of bounds. Kansas City won the game 19-14. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Terrence Newman, aging nine-year veteran CB was cut by the Cowboys. For Terrence, the writing was on the wall as he was burned by NYG’s WR Victor Cruz for an extremely long touchdown AND was hurdled by not one, but two 260+ lb lumberjacks in last years season finale. Coupled with his high salary and slumping play, this move makes financial sense for the Dallas Cowboys.

I would like to see Newman back in a much less expensive and reduced role. I would take Terrence Newman over Alan Ball or Frank Walker any day. Perhaps if he could swallow his pride and accept a similar contract, we could see #41 in a uniform again this season. Who knows, if he only sees 20 snaps a game vs 50 then those 20 snaps might be high quality.

Set to replace him, the Cowboys started the process of wining and dining former Kansas City CB, Brandon Carr.  At 26 years old Carr is the cream of the free agent CB crop, has his best years still ahead of him, and would be an immediate upgrade from Newman.  Possible other suitors for Carr could have been the 49rs, but they agreed to a contract extension with their own CB Carlos Rodgers that is worth a max of approximately $30 million over four years.  Former Tennesse Titans CB Cortland Finnegan is following his old coach Jeff Fisher and has signed a five year, $50 million contract.

Martellus Bennet was not resigned, and he caught a flight to visit with NYG. Rumors have it that it is a one-way ticket. Hopefully his truly uninspiring performance with the Cowboys will continue with a hated division rival.  It’s hard to imagine that the Cowboys selected Martellus Bennett over Green Bay Packers TE, Finley.  But they did, and now are searching for a #2 TE to backup Jason Witten, or a #3 TE to backup Jason Witten and John Phillips.

To fill that roster hole left by good ole’ Marty B, Cowboys are scheduled to have a visit today by Kellen Davis, former bears TE. His stats are not impressive, but he did manage to wrack up 5 TD’s this past year in a Mike Martz offense that thinks the TE is an extra OT.

Sadly, Laurent Robinson and the Dallas Cowboys could not come to a contract agreement.  Robinson visited Jacksonville yesterday, and rumors have it Miami is also looking to fill holes in the WR core by inserting the breakout star Robinson.  My thoughts, he should stick where he is good. He spent time in Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Diego and nothing came of it. He has good chemistry with Tony Romo and the Cowboys should be willing to pay him a little bit more than #3 WR money, but less than #2 WR money.  It will be a great loss to see him leave if it happens, but something that the Cowboys can’t afford to break the bank with. Especially with a receiving core filled with Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten.

The Cowboys also released our linebacker/wannabe kicker, David Buehler. His leg was a great asset to the Cowboys pre 2011, before the NFL moved kickoffs up to the 35 yard line.  His accuracy as a kicker left much to be desired, and with the new kickoff rule, rookie kicker Dan Bailey did an acceptable job on kickoffs and excelled in FG’s.  There won’t be a replacement Kickoff specialist (KOS) as the Boy’s don’t need to carry 2 kickers anymore.

FB Tony Fiametta and the Cowboys couldn’t come to terms on an agreement, and he is now a free agent. Rumor has it that the reason the Cowboys did not immediately sign Fiametta is because of the five million dollars in cap space they were falsely penalized by the league for ($10 million total, spread over two years).  With Carr (hopefully) wearing the star today, getting Fiametta under contract is the BIGGEST priority for the Cowboys.  We saw how abysmal the Cowboy’s running game was without him, and with him in the lineup blocking for Murray and Jones…  I’ll let you finish that thought.

Someone I haven’t heard much about in any of the free agency frenzy is recently released cap casualty O.J. Atogwe.  He is a quality starting safety that didn’t pan out his first year with Washington. Injuries held him back and I would love to see him starting next to Gerald Sensabaugh rather than ‘average Abe Elam’.  Atogwe would be another immediate upgrade in the porous secondary, and shouldn’t hold too high of a price tag as his production slipped a little bit and last year he spent quite a bit of time off the field due to injury.

Free Agent prospect Carl Nicks (G, Saints) has been removed from the market after signing a near $10 million a year contract for five years.  Nicks was a rumored free agency prospect of the Dallas Cowboys because of our poor guard play, and our new Offensive Line coach was Nicks’ coach in college at Nebraska.  Cap space wise, if we sign Carr (who we should expect to count between $7-9 million a year) then signing Nicks would almost be out of the question.

Day Two of free agency started this morning, and there will be much more going on between now and the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26th.  Be sure to follow @LandryHat on twitter for the latest updates on the Dallas Cowboys free agency and other news.

The two pictures in this article have a point and purpose.  First, I wrote of both free agents here in this article. Second and most importantly, our Cowboys had two glaring holes coming into this off-season; our secondary and interior offensive line.  If Jason Garrett wants to see any improvement in 2012, it would be best suited to fix one problem completely, rather than partially fix both and then “band-aid” the rest.  Signing Carr and Atogwe will take the two weakest links of the secondary and make them the strongest. Our defense will not be picked apart every game during the two-minute drill.  Jason Garrett won’t second guess his quarterbacks ability to finish the game, and he can be a better play caller knowing that the defense can hold up at the very end.  Our offense put up impressive points last year, and our interior offensive line was extremely young and can only get better. Lets fix this secondary and win some football games.

Finally, the tweet of the day goes to Fox Sports SW Columnist and TV Analyst, Matt Mosley: @mattmosley “Brandon Carr apparently confused when Jerry asks him to restructure his deal before it’s finalized. #jokes

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Tags: Abe Elam Alan Ball Brandon Carr Carl Nicks Carlos Rodgers Cortland Finnegan Dan Bailey David Buehler Frank Walker Gerald Sensabaugh Jeff Fisher Kellen Davis Laurent Robinson Martellus Bennett Mike Martz O.J. Atogwe Terrence Newman Tony Fiametta Tony Romo

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