Rebuilding through the draft is necessary for the Dallas Cowboys this year. With no back up plan in sight and contracts of players such as tight end Jason Witten and linebacker DeMarcus Ware, being restructured it’s beginning to be a dead horse beaten over and over again.
The Cowboys restructured a few deals this week and while this is normal practices within NFL organizations, it can lead to disaster for the future of the franchise. The Cowboys have so much money tied up in players that year in and year out fail to perform at the high standard their contracts deem to them perform at. While these restructures were necessary in order to get under the 2013 salary cap, too many of these deals can spell a financial disaster for the team. To “restructure” a contract in the NFL most likely means these players will get guaranteed bonus checks regardless and spread out over the entire life of the contract. So in the end, these players are still getting their money.
The Cowboys have a history of overpaying players and signing one hit wonders to long term contracts within the past 18 years. They also have a history since former head coach Jimmy Johnson left of not rebuilding through the draft. This year, the Cowboys need to start building their players through draft picks. The Cowboys aren’t foreseen to make any major if any free agency moves this season due to the cap numbers and so they must use their draft picks intelligently and pick up key positions that need added depth for injuries and also to start grooming players to take over for veterans who are getting up there on the older side of the NFL age group.
Teams that rebuild their franchises via the draft are long-term “dynasty” teams. Think of the Patriots, the Steelers, and the Niners and even in the 1990’s our own Cowboys. Those teams started out young with draft picks and built a solid foundation on which teams performed at high levels and continued. Maybe not always as super bowl champions but they did make the playoffs consistently and won division titles consistently.
Now can the Cowboys fix these problems? Yes of course they can but it’s up to the one person who won’t change anything outside his comfort zone. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones is the culprit but as we all know by now he isn’t changing and that by far is showing with an eerily similar off-season.