The Dallas Cowboys wined and dined free agents defensive end Jared Allen and defensive tackle Henry Melton over the past two days. These players are really the last of the top-tier free agents available at their prospective positions, as the Cowboys have been forced to take a more reserved approach towards free agency due to their limited salary cap. But now both players have left Dallas, neither committing to the Cowboys. Is this a bad sign? I believe it is.
How many times have we heard of free agents visiting a team, with other visits scheduled afterwards, only to have them sign with that team during their time there? Often. For those of us fans who wanted the Cowboys to sign one, if not both of these players, that was our secret wish. We just dared not say it out loud as it could have jinxed the whole dang thing.
But now, Melton has trotted off to St. Louis to visit the Rams. Along with Dallas and St. Louis, the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings have also shown interest in Melton. He has visited them both. Although rumor has it that the Seahawks are losing interest, the Oakland Raiders have stepped up and could be the newest destination for the traveling Melton. One team that has always been in play is his former one, the Chicago Bears. Melton has always said he would consult them before making his final decision. That’s a lot of competition! Now that he’s left Dallas without a deal, it seems shaker than ever that the Cowboys will actually land Melton.
At least with Allen, it appears Dallas has a 50/50 chance. But I’m probably being too optimistic with that statement. It is be reported that the five-time Pro Bowler is headed back home to Minnesota to consult his wife. Their decision: Whether to sign with Seattle or Dallas. Or to simply keep looking and visit other teams.
But if we weighed just Seattle and Dallas against each other, I’m not sure the Cowboys would come out on top. Think about it: One is the Super bowl champions who have more money to pay you. (Seattle has $15.3 million in cap space according to overthecap.com) The other team just posted their third consecutive 8-8 season and has very limited cap space. (Dallas has $7.6 million in cap space according to overthecap.com) Still, Allen is an unconventional guy. I could see him accepting the challenge of playing in Dallas over Seattle. I’m just not sure if he will. A decision is expected from Allen sometime later this week.
Is it a bad sign that both players left Dallas without deals? Absolutely. It means they didn’t see or hear anything during their stay that made them have to sign with the Cowboys. But it also doesn’t mean that they eventually won’t. I just think our chances go down the further away from Dallas they go.