It’s been awhile since the Dallas Cowboys were able to make what we might refer to as a “splash” during the free agent signing period. Owner and general manager Jerry Jones has preferred to keep the franchise either at or well above the salary cap for several years now, thus preventing any high-profile additions for a franchise stuck in an era of perfect mediocrity.
Well, this is likely not the year that Dallas breaks its trend of shopping for bargains, and few at that, as the new league year begins on March 11. The Cowboys are currently around $25 million over the anticipated salary cap of $126.3 million, a figure tentatively agreed to during an NFL meeting last December.
Yes, Jones and Co. proudly proclaim that they will have no problem in getting under the expected mark as they’ll once again restructure the contracts of a handful of players making too much money. While it’s possible that there could be a surprising cut or two, this doesn’t mean that Dallas will end up with very much in the way of cash to spend on players from around the league that other teams don’t want anymore.
Assuming that the Cowboys are able to spend a little, it will be critical that this organization targets only players that bring something positive to the table for both the present and future. In other words, players like 2012 additions Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings, waning offensive guards from the Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals, respectively, need to be avoided at all costs.
The Cowboys need players who can bring something they don’t currently have to the table as opposed to trying to simply plug holes with the kind of mediocrity they have been purchasing in the past. Further, Dallas needs to find players that are also affordable—this is the trickiest part of the deal.
Did I mention that they need to be young too?
This year’s free agent class isn’t exactly loaded with difference makers to begin with, not a big deal since Dallas can’t afford the cream of the crop anyway. However, there are players who are quite intriguing at numerous positions that also may be available at a price the Cowboys could live with.
The following is a look at five free agents that could possibly help America’s Team become—well, America’s Team once again. No single player would, by himself, turn the tide upwards from the mediocrity the Cowboys currently suffer from. But just about any combination of these players would bring something to the roster that’s either lacking right now or is likely to be a void heading into 2015.