With the loss of a few familiar faces, Dallas Cowboys fans have taken to social media to express their premature and over exaggerated concerns.
After the first week of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys saw a few familiar faces leave for greener pastures. When I say greener pastures, I don’t mean better teams. I’m talking about chasing the almighty dollar.
The most lucrative cash grab was pulled off by former guard Ron Leary however. Playing along the Great Wall of the Dallas Cowboys paid dividends for him. After making just $4.5M in five seasons with Dallas, Leary is now the beneficiary of $36M over four years, thanks to Denver.
To the credit of the Dallas Cowboys though, they made a few fiscally savvy moves to replace the production.
As the second week of free agency came to a close, a couple more old names found new homes. Because of that, you would think that a lot of the Cowboys faithful must suffer from amnesia.
This week, cornerbacks Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr bid adieu to Dallas. Claiborne received a one year, $5M deal from the New York Jets. Carr headed up to Baltimore, accepting an offer of $23.5M over four years.
All of a sudden, the armchair general managers could not wait to take to Twitter and Facebook to lament the acumen of the real Dallas Cowboys front office.
The sky is falling. The dynasty (that has not been) is over. All the positivity of last year has gone by the way side. The Dallas Cowboys have no shot to win anything in 2017.
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All because a couple of guys took some extra money elsewhere. These are the same guys that week in and week out bore the brunt of many fans ire.
How many times did you complain about the lack of interceptions from Carr?
How many times have you made a joke about Claiborne’s fragile body?
Where was all this love for J.J. Wilcox when he was letting receivers get behind him on deep passes?
Now the crocodile tears are knee high and the Dallas Cowboys have lost before they even have begun. The main concern? There are too many holes to fill on the defense and not enough bodies to do so.
This is, of course, not true.
McClain and Crawford are gone. So what? Crawford posted 9.5 sacks in 38 games with Dallas. McClain added 3.5 in 30 games.
Newcomber Damontre Moore has 10 sacks in his last 34 games by himself. He will make $775,000 next year. Meanwhile, Stephen Paea, on a one year, $2M deal, reunites with his first defensive coordinator, where he racked up 4.5 sacks in his first two seasons.
I’ll let you do the math there to see just how “horrible” the Cowboys have been so far in free agency.
Along the back line of defensive, fans are extremely concerned that Dallas will regress. All of a sudden, the defense will become a sieve, allowing opponents to light up the scoreboard.
May I remind you that with Claiborne and Carr, Dallas gave up 355 yards passing in their exit from the 2016 playoffs? In fact, in three of the last four years, the Dallas Cowboys defense finished 26th or worse in passing yards allowed.
If that’s not enough to dry your eyes, remember that Claiborne has been a part of 22 games in the last three years. You want to give up $5M to hope that trend changes?
Instead, the Cowboys brought in Nolan Carroll on essentially a one year deal for $3M with team options the following two years. Carroll, who has played in all 16 games in three of the last four years is, at worst, as good as either Claiborne or Carr.
Lastly, if you’re worried that there won’t be enough bodies at defensive back, you can relax there too.
Three of the five guys who played the most snaps at defensive back last year are returning in 2017. Byron Jones, Anthony Brown and Orlando Scandrick, along with Carroll will likely comprise 4/5 of your starting lineup next season.
Then there is this thing in April called the draft in which the Cowboys have three of the top 92 picks. Select a cornerback and a safety and voila, problem solved. Surely, the Dallas Cowboys can find someone of at least equal ability to either corner lost as well as J.J. Wilcox going this route.
They also, once again, save a ton of money doing so. Over the last three years, the 28th pick in the draft has made no more than $450K in his first season.
When you take a moment and breathe, it’s easy to see that maybe the Cowboys should go on and actually play a couple of games in 2017 to see how things go. The season is not already over because a couple of guys left. In fact, it’s fair to ascertain that Dallas got better, at least financially by these defections.
There is a long, long time before a meaningful ball gets kicked off. Things will be just fine.