There are rumors of a deal in the works to keep Spencer here long term. I am in favor of this. Spencer not only had a great year, but we do not need another hole to fill on the roster, especially on the Defensive Line.
Joining Spencer on the UFA float in this parade are fellow Linebackers Victor Butler, Brady Poppinga, and Ernie Sims. Unlike Spencer I do not see any of these players moving to Defensive End so they would remain Linebackers in Monte Kiffin’s new masterpiece. He’s an artist, so I am assuming it will be a masterpiece. Hopefully that doesn’t offend anyone. I would bring Sims back and Poppinga as well at least for Training Camp. I think they helped us through a difficult injury riddled season in 2012. I would certainly understand if each wanted to start somewhere else and left.
Next we have the Defensive Backs where the big name is Cornerback Mike Jenkins. He is expected and hoping to be one of the blue chip Free Agents in this year’s class. Joining him from the Secondary are Michael Coe and Charlie Peprah. I had high hopes for Peprah when we signed him off the street in 2012, and he basically joined the M*A*S*H units on the injured lists. I wouldn’t mind if he was brought back for Traning Camp, but I won’t be shocked if none of these players return. Especially Jenkins. He is going to want to start, and frankly he’s good enough to be a starter on another team. But he’s not going to start here over Carr and Claiborne and Scandrick appears better suited to the Slot in the Nickel.
A pair of Defensive Linemen are next in Kenyon Coleman and Brian Schaefering. Coleman landed on Injured Reserve in 2012 and has a high price tag. I don’t expect either of these players back, though Schaefering as a Training Camp Invitee is plausible given his cap friendly numbers.
Running Back Felix Jones has probably played his last down as a Dallas Cowboy unless he gives Dallas a great deal to stay. I think the same for Wide Receiver Kevin Ogletree given the emergence of Dwayne Harris, and it is possible as well for Tight End John Phillips, who never got back that rookie fire we all enjoyed. The last Offensive UFA is Guard Derrick Dockery who I think would cause a fan revolt if the Cowboys brought him back.
The last two UFAs are Special Teams players. Long Snapper L. P. LaDouceur and Punter Brian Moorman. With Chris Jones returning from his season ending injury I doubt Moorman is brought back. I think LaDouceur is about a fifty-fifty proposition. He barely kept his job in 2012. The Cowboys gave serious consideration to Undrafted Free Agent Long Snapper Charley Hughlett, and they brought him back for another look in 2013.
Lastly I would say that I don’t expect the Cowboys to make any big splashes in Free Agency this year like they did last year with Carr. One exception would be if the Bears let Defensive Tackle Henry Melton test the waters. D-Line Coach Rod Marinelli and Melton know each other from the former’s time with the Bears as their Defensive Coordinator, and we could certainly use a three technique DT.
What this selfishly means to me is that given the possible exodus of a couple of higher priced pieces of our former roster, we might get some Compensatory Draft Picks in 2014. In order to qualify for them we have to lose more UFAs than we sign and they have to get fairly decent sized contracts and perform. Certainly is possible with this crop of UFAs. I’m all about the greed.