Dallas Cowboys must not look for quick fix via free agency

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Ezekiel Elliott
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Ezekiel Elliott /

After watching their division rival Philadelphia Eagles win their first Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys must not look for a quick fix via free agency.

For many the wound is still fresh from seeing the Eagles win their first Super Bowl and, only days later, seeing them have their championship parade throughout the city of Philadelphia. Lots of questions have been asked since then; how did the Eagles survive through all their injuries?

How did they manage to beat the greatest coach and quarterback of all time with a backup quarterback? How much of a gap is there between the Cowboys and Eagles? How far away are the Cowboys from competing for a Super Bowl?

The NFL, like any other business, is a copy cat league. Teams look at what is working for successful organizations and try their best to replicate what is already a proven formula whether it is on the field strategies or personnel decisions like draft philosophies and free agency. And with the Eagles being one of the most active teams in both free agency as well as the trade market last offseason and seeing the impact it had on their season, you can rest assured teams took notice.

We have seen the Cowboys take a drastic turn toward financial responsibility over the last handful of seasons. This used to be a team led by an owner who was not afraid to spend money when the big name players hit the market.

Now, as Vice President of Player Personnel, Will McClay’s influence continues to grow within the organization, the Cowboys have become a team more disciplined in their fee agency approach and prioritizing where they are spending their money. While I wholeheartedly agree with the approach of building through the draft and finding mid level, impactful free agents, the Cowboys overall execution in free agency must improve.

While many fans want the Cowboys to expand their free agency search and potentially reel in a big names such as Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry, they must first take care of their own. With names such as defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, tackle David Irving, and linebacker Anthony Hitchens all set to hit the open market, all three should take priority over outside free agents.

Not to mention guard Zack Martin is entering his team invoked fifth year option which will make him a free agent after next season and you can guarantee the Cowboys do not want to entertain that idea.

If all of those players listed are retained, that will account for majority of the roughly $19 million in cap space the Cowboys will have entering this offseason. Money will also have to put aside for the incoming draft class as well as all practice squad players.

The Cowboys must not search for a quick fix via free agency and fall back into the financial hole that took them years to climb out of. However, better decisions do have to be made when signing free agents such as defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and defensive back Nolan Carroll both who still have dead money accounting towards the Cowboys cap.

Next: The top 10 Dallas Cowboys to never win a Super Bowl

The front office must find a balance of becoming more active in free agency while still being effective and getting the best bang for their buck. While I do not believe the Cowboys front office is opposed to big name free agents, the numbers need to be there in order to hand out big contracts to high profile free agents; and this year is certainly not the year for that to happen.