Don’t have high hopes for the Dallas Cowboys signing a big name

Jul 29, 2016, Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones (left) and owner Jerry Jones at press conference at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016, Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones (left) and owner Jerry Jones at press conference at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Cowboys have drafted well in recent years. They look to prioritize that trend and keep the checkbook in-house before seeking outside help.

The Dallas Cowboys didn’t land wide receivers Eric Decker or Jeremy Maclin. Sources close to the team have also stated that defensive back Darrelle Revis isn’t a priority. And there’s barely been a peep about quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Many fans and experts have discussed the possibilities of the team going after about every available big name. The main reason for that is because as of June 1st, former quarterback Tony Romo gifted the Cowboys $14 million in cap space with his decision to hang up the pads in favor of a suit and microphone.

As fun as it is to speculate, don’t expect the front office to consider spending on any hot names until the players on this team are taken care of first, specifically All-Pro guard Zack Martin. The ‘Boys have implemented a plan and they’re sticking to it.

Part of that plan is to be more than willing to pay drafted players who they feel are cornerstone guys. Why draft pro bowl caliber athletes if you’re not willing to pay to keep them?

The plan got them to 13 wins last year, and the championship window was reopened by a pair of stud 2016 draft picks in quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott. A huge boost to those studs is a stellar offensive line led by tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick, and Martin. The team also has an endless arsenal in a crowded passing attack including future hall of fame tight end Jason Witten, All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant, and slot receiver Cole Beasley.

Aside from Beasley who was an undrafted free agent, all the players in the previous paragraph were drafted by the Cowboys. For this team to be a contender again, the goal is to draft well first.

The ‘draft well first’ mentality is why this year’s squad has a young untested defense that casually said goodbye to four solid starters in the defensive backfield. The Cowboys hit the draft hard on that side of the ball, drafting defensive end Taco Charlton in the first round before taking four defensive backs within their next five picks.

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Director of Player Personnel Stephen Jones emphasized the importance of building from the draft and paying his own players. Although paying his players is an aspect that Stephen Jones speaks highly of, he also stresses the importance of not overpaying.

Which brings me to my next point. The Jones family knew they were going to lose a handful of players in free agency because they were going to have to pay good players like great players to keep them. That is something the team is trying to shy away from.

I have to agree. Although Dallas lost solid contributors, all of those men who bolted combined for zero pro bowls.

The history of this team overpaying for outside help speaks for itself. Since the dynasty years, the Cowboys have struggled to strike gold in the free agent market.

Anyone remember the Joey Galloway deal? Awful. How about the Roy Williams trade? Atrocious. First round picks and more were dealt for these two.

The signing of wide receiver Terrell Owens seemed like it paid off at first but then left a bad taste. Owens was indeed elite while he donned the star, but like the rest of his career, he caused enough distractions to wear out his welcome. After his contract was up, T.O. was released and Dallas took  Dez Bryant in the first round the following year.

I’m not saying that Jerry Jones isn’t willing to take chances on intriguing free agents. That’s just who Jerry Jones is. He loves the thrill.

The Cowboys owner has made splashes in the market like quarterback Drew Bledsoe, running back Eddie George, and even controversial guys like defensive end Greg Hardy.

However, I’m convinced that as much as he loves the thrill, he loves to win more. The hunger to win has caused the Cowboys’ owner to get control of his checkbook and back track to the strategy that made his team great in the triplet years.

The first priority is to build from the draft. The second priority is to pay the great drafted players and do not overpay for average players. The last priority is fill in the gaps through reasonable free agent signings.

The keyword to the last sentence is ‘reasonable.’

Which is why my fellow Cowboys fans should expect the team to only worry about the guys they already have until training camp or preseason. This is when teams start trimming down their rosters, injuries happen, and coaches have had time to take notice of their weaknesses.

As of right now America’s Team is pretty crowded at almost every position. If Jerry Jones decides to take another of his well known risks on an available veteran, you could probably bet it won’t be some lucrative deal.

Next: Dallas Cowboys - 5 Best Free Agent Signings Of All Time

So when the next latest and greatest player becomes available, give it some time before you fantasize them being a Cowboy. Preseason is when things may get interesting.