Ignore what some other people or websites might say: The Dallas Cowboys are winners in the free agency game.
It’s actually grown pretty tired and boring over the years debating which teams have emerged as “victorious” in the spending game that has become the kickoff to the NFL new year.
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Ask yourself these questions:
Are you victorious because you spent $1.50 on yesterday’s newspaper that cost only fifty cents when it was new? Are you cooler for spending $150.00 on a pair of jeans that should never sell for more than a fifth of that amount ($30.00) at retail? Is it smart to keep charging things like groceries, haircuts and gasoline on a credit card that sports an interest rate of over 10%?
These represent very basic economic examples of how NFL teams completely destroy their present and future while paying for yesterday’s stars – current stars, like wide receiver Dez Bryant, almost never actually hit the market. Everybody else are generally stars that never became as such or guys that some believe might still reach that status, usually a pretty big gamble.
No, shopping at “Free Agent Mart” is only valuable in rare instances, and for that value you get to pay dramatically – so there goes the value.
Are the Cowboys in desperate shape because often injured linebackers like Bruce Carter and Justin Durant will now be playing elsewhere, quite possibly occupying the injured lists for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons, respectively?
Not sure about that.
Remember that Dallas still has Sean Lee, easily the best defensive player on the team. The Cowboys still have Anthony Hitchens, a well-scouted draft pick last year that shined as a rookie. America’s Team might still end up with Rolando McClain, a near NFL bust that showed last year that he could make a huge difference in football games for pennies on the dollar.
Nothing against players like Durant and Carter. Football is a job and it tends to be an awfully short-term profession when compared to almost all others. Even in the world of sports it ranks right at the bottom in terms of years spent working in it. Take away few exceptions, the pay isn’t so hot either.
Yes, it was always about the money for running back DeMarco Murray, a guy who had to be wondering if he was ever going to make any kind of lifetime money in the NFL just a year ago.
If your owner and general manager Jerry Jones, what exactly do you make of an often injured running back that plays just a fraction above 13 games a year during his career – and these, mind you, were “The Wonder Years.”
Mark my words: Murray will never see another season like he did in 2014 while running behind the best offensive line in football which also featured an MVP-caliber quarterback in Tony Romo and the best wide receiver in the game in Dez Bryant.
Sorry, I just don’t see the Philadelphia Eagles offense being quite so formidable with it’s current cast of reject quarterbacks and runners from wherever.
Dallas, as you’ve come to learn, might not be making the most popular decisions lately where free agency or the draft is concerned. Jones isn’t trading up to grab horribly overrated cornerbacks and he’s not overpaying by as much as 50-100% percent for players that are supposed to immediately make the roster better.
What actually ends up getting better, in future seasons, is probably draft position.
How many additional quality football player could the Miami Dolphins have signed in free agency for what they just gave defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh?
For as good as some football players are, they’re always going to be just one football player.
This is the NFL, not the NBA, where just one guy can single-handedly take a franchise from the lottery to the finals in just one season.
The Cowboys don’t need to be in the market to win offseasons. It’s crystal clear that players chosen in the draft are where championship foundations are paved. Perhaps there’s no better example of this than the way Dallas has focused on it’s offensive line over the last few seasons.
Or take last week’s addition of running back Darren McFadden, the apparent answer to Murray’s departure – at least for right now.
McFadden will now get to reach the line of scrimmage with the football as opposed to getting nailed in the backfield as he did so often during his time with the Oakland Raiders.
Don’t be surprised if McFadden crosses the 1,000 yard rushing mark in 2-15. I still think it’s likely that the former Arkansas Razorbacks star is a backup in the Dallas backfield, but somebody does have to beat him out for the job and I don’t believe that guy is there now.
The victory, at least for the Cowboys, is the cost paid for McFadden versus the one Philly paid for it’s often injured, bigger runner that’s pushing 30 years old in just a couple of seasons. By this time, McFadden will be done with his contract while possibly a new Eagles head coach and/or general manager might be struggling to figure out what to do with Murray and his.
The Cowboys current free agent additions have been sensible and smart, much like last year’s crop that ended up helping Dallas reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009 while finishing the regular season with a record of 12-4.
Yes, it’s about winning during the regular season, not the offseason, period.
Fortunately, the Dallas Cowboys have finally figured that out.