Jan 26, 2013, Honolulu, HI, USA; Dallas Cowboys mascot Rowdy at Ohana Day for the 2013 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Inactivity in Free Agency Hurts Short Term, But Good for Long Haul


Most Cowboys fans are struggling with the team being inactive in the early part of free agency. When free agency started Tuesday Morning the Cowboys were just barely under the salary cap threshold, avoiding penalties but restricting their ability to pursue top flight free agent talent around the league. While most fans are upset with the inactivity, do not despair, the inactivity in free agency may be the best thing for the future of the Dallas Cowboys.

In this Salary Cap era of the NFL, building a team through free agency is a wasted proposition for a team like the Dallas Cowboys. In the recent past the Cowboys have tried to bring in high priced free agents as a base for their roster and it has not produced wins on the football field. The high priced spending on free agents from other teams and their own players has put the Cowboys in the “Cap Hell” they currently reside in.

Free agency in the NFL is not a way to build your team, but more useful as a filler to complete a roster. Looking at the current class of free agents, outside of Jake Long – OT – Miami, there is not one player that would provide a significant impact to the Cowboy success next season. The truth of the matter when it comes to free agency is that the moves are a short term fix with long term consequences if it goes bad.

Using history as a guide, the Cowboys built their dynasty in the 90′s via the NFL Draft. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Larry Allen, Nate Newton and countless others were all obtained through the Draft not free agency. Free agency was used to get piece fillers like Charles Haley and Deion Sanders, but not as a base to build the team around.

In the current landscape of the NFL the free agency market has left teams scrambling to restructure contracts in the offseason just to avoid penalties from the salary cap. Looking at last season of the 12 teams that made the playoffs there was only one significant free agent signing that worked out and that was the Broncos signing Peyton Manning. Most of the other teams built their team with their current roster and an infusion of good Draft picks.

Fans always want a quick fix, and free agency fills that impulse to win big right away. The truth of the matter is that free agency is more like a junkie scoring a cheap hit from a crack pipe. What bad teams really need to do is purge their roster and build through the Draft and player development. So as the Cowboys fans watch everyone else overpay for talent in free agency, they should accept the short term pain of roster purging and an influx of young talent for long term success in the future.

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Free Agency

  • P.j. Doyle

    All we are getting is six draft picks. That six rookies that were going have to make a home run on all six picks. That is a tall, tall order. We got so many holes to fill. Realistically, it’s going to be impossible!

    • Dietz

      That’s why there will be short term pain, but the long term success of the Cowboys needs to be done through purging of the current roster and pieces added via the Draft…

      • P.j. Doyle

        It would be nice to have long term success again. It’s been so long since we had any I forgot how it feels. But you got a positive way at looking at it. So I hope your right and thanks for answering me.

  • Ronin1215

    The cowboys have also overpaid players on their roster. That also handcuffs any movement in FA. This has been one of the most glaring problems of this organization. JJ has overvalued certain players while letting other players fall through the cracks and then go on to make an impact on another team. Who’s to say our draft is any better. We gave up a first round pick in order to get Roy Williams. This organization is pinking its fan base. As long as there aren’t real talent evaluators, other teams will continue to take advantage of JJ trying to make a big splash.

    • Dietz

      I totally agree that the Cowboys have overpaid their players, and thats why a purging of the roster has to be done. The Roy Williams deal was an obvious bust and everyone said that from the jump. Hopefully this year the Cowboys can look at our Mock Drafts here on Landry Hat, and I will have much more draft advice as we get closer to April, so Jerry will have plenty of advice on which direction to go.

  • Troy Spurlock

    I agree we have over paid under achievers on our rosters. Starting with our QB.Everyone can praise Romo regular season stats all they want, but the fact is ge hasn t won the big game to get us to the playoff nor has he won a big game in the playoffs. So how the H3ll do we give him 16mil a yr? And then there s Mile Austin… the one yr wonder.. How is it that J.J. give everyone a big contract after one good season, but all the great teams make you earn your money.. let me see hmmmmm. Flacco he earned his new contract. Enough said. Get ur $h-t together J.J. Go boys

    • Dietz

      Romo is an enigma, but the Cap restraints on the Cowboys, force them to have to renegotiate his contract and offer him an extension, I have a column coming up this Saturday addressing this issue, So i will not go into detail here.

  • bill

    The elephant in the room seems to be why are the boys in cap hell in the first place. Yes they’re $5M in the hole from the fine, but really, should an 8-8 team be so over the cap that it has to mortgage its future just to be $120k under?

  • disqus_kLJwdEdnOL

    The problems with the Cowboys cannot be fixed in the immediate future. They have dug themselves a hole that they can only recover from by making wise decisions in this year’s and future drafts. Hopefully, JJ has learned an important lesson…teams are built through the draft. Don’t expect a super bowl team this year or any other yearsin the near future and if JJ has’nt learned a lesson, don’t ever expect another one.

  • Juanito Juanito

    when could romo sign, and how much money hes asking for ?