The Cowboys last Friday finally succeeded in what they had been trying to accomplish for quite some time. This something was to agree to a contract extension that Tony Romo would feel comfortable with and at a number the Cowboys could stomach. While the contract is long in years and high in dollars, it’s the going market rate for a top 10 NFL quarterback. While some may argue he may be overpaid and overvalued, he is worth every penny. The Cowboys finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs due to their failure in Washington in the last game of the season. However, without Romo the team wouldn’t even had a dream about the postseason.
With the signing of the long term contract with Romo, the Cowboys lowered Romo’s 2013 cap number and gave the team about $5 million in cap space to work with. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, Romo’s deal wasn’t reached a few weeks earlier. Without Romo’s deal in place, the team had to restructure multiple contracts and thus guaranteeing some lesser players money in future years that the team would had been better off long term not doing. Nonetheless, now that the team has space what can the public expect from the team?
Option A - With the team having no glaring holes, the team can be patient and wait until the market comes to them. When a team’s free agent targets have to wait longer for a deal than expected, teams can find a bargain or two by finding value signings. With this strategy, the Cowboys can see how their draft plays out and where they would like more depth at for the 2013 season.
Option B – Target a guy that they have been wanting and go get him now. The team has wanted money to spend, and now they have a little bit. The team has been linked to guard Brandon Moore in multiple outlets. Other players who have briefly been mentioned as longshot possibilities to the team have been Dwight Freeney (DE), Brian Urlacher (LB), Charles Woodson (S), Ahmad Bradshaw (RB), Eric Winston (OT), Laurent Robinson (WR), Michael Turner (RB), Peyton Hillis (RB), Josh Cribbs (WR/ST). If they team was to make a “name” signing now, I would like to see the team try and bring back Mike Jenkins on a one year deal. Jenkins is a solid corner, is familiar with the players and the team, is a former draft pick of the team and is still unsigned. Due to the new CBA, cornerbacks have not been able to get the big lucrative contracts they have been accustomed to in past off seasons. As NFL fans are well aware of, you can never have too many solid defensive backs.
Option C – Keep the cap room to see what veteran players are released in the “June 1st” cuts. If there are no players that the Cowboys fancy at that time, they can still keep the space and see what players are released when NFL rosters are trimmed to 53 in early September.
With the options presented, the team on Wednesday decided to employ “option B” at a small level. The team resigned recently released wide receiver Anthony Armstrong to a 1 year $630K contract. The team is now sitting on a little less than $4.5 million in cap space and will still need to keep a portion of that amount to sign their 2013 draft class. It’s going to be a very interesting next few weeks as we lead up to the draft and then see how the team tries to round out the roster.
Follow Craig Cortemeglia on Twitter at @ccortemegliaTLH