With 21 free agents heading to the open market next week, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to bring back these three players in 2017.
As a Dallas Cowboys fan, you already know that free agency is not going to be too exciting. While certain teams seemingly spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year, the Cowboys embody the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge.
Is it the right way to go? I guess that’s debatable. For people like me who subscribe to the theory that free agents are available for a reason, the answer is yes. For those who think that the team needs a big splash, they answer might differ.
Looking back, it’s clear that throwing money at your problems of depth or lack of star power doesn’t work.
Wallace signed with Miami, ended up joining Jennings in Minnesota and played last year in Baltimore. Jennings never totaled more than 850 yards or six touchdowns in any year after and is out of the league.
The following year, Tampa Bay gave defensive lineman Michael Johnson $44M to leave Cincinnati. He gave them four sacks in return for one year, then ended up back with the Bengals in 2015.
That same offseason, New Orleans gave safety Jairus Byrd $56M to improve their horrible defense. The Saints return on investment has been just three interceptions in three years, while Byrd has sat out sixteen games in that time.
One of 2015’s biggest signings, Darrelle Revis, somehow got the New York Jets to fork over $70M. After a decent year, pulling down five interceptions, Revis looks old and done. Last year, he managed just one pick. This offseason, he could be facing suspension for an off the field altercation.
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Finally, last year saw Houston give quarterback Brock Osweiler $72M while Jacksonville threw $85M at defensive tackle Malik Jackson. The only thing either did was compete for the award of worst free agent signing of the year.
So, as you can see, spending is rarely the way to go.
That being said, the Dallas Cowboys have three free agents in particular that it would behoove them to resign. Three guys specifically who are important both on the field and in the locker room.
None of the following options will break the bank for the Cowboys. What they will do is allow the draft process to go as hoped with the best player available instead of reaching for a need.
The first is defensive tackle Terrell McClain.
It seems like forever ago that McClain signed with Dallas back in 2014. It feels like even longer as it took him almost two years to get healthy.
This year, though, McClain also had a career year and really became a “glue guy” in the locker room. It’s hard to put a price on those things, especially when the player is productive as well.
His numbers won’t make you say “Wow!” or anything (39 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles) but McClain was disruptive in the backfield on many occasions in 2016. With the Cowboys needing a presence on the line, McClain’s price tag, performance and personality in the locker room should all point to his return in 2017.
The next priority should be cornerback Brandon Carr.
There is no doubt that Carr’s best ability is his availability. In nine seasons, Carr has never missed a game. A lot of fans do not appreciate that however as Carr is a fan favorite of criticism.
Looking at the numbers of opposing big name wide receivers tell the story on Carr. The Buccaneers’ Mike Evans (4 catches, 59 yards, 0 TD’s), the Bengals’ A.J. Green (4 catches, 50 yards, 0 TD’s) and the Lions’ Golden Tate (6 catches, 58 yards, 0 TD’s) all had average at best games vs. Carr.
The final guy that should return is Carr’s defensive backfield mate, safety Barry Church.
Not only is Church one of the top safeties available in free agency, according to Pro Football Talk, he’s a top forty overall option.
The need for the position along with Church’s leadership qualities make his return even more of a necessity. With J.J. Wilcox also a free agent and rookie Kavon Frazier lacking experience, Church’s return would be a boost for the Dallas secondary.
All three guys should be relatively inexpensive, especially in comparison to some of their other free agent counterparts.
The value for the Cowboys, however, could be beyond dollars and cents.