Will the Dallas Cowboys remain conservative in free agency?
By Jesse Jones
The usually conservative Dallas Cowboys could very well be forced to be players in free agency this week in order to fill the needs of their roster.
The Dallas Cowboys seemed poised to make a run at getting at least one of the bigger names in free agency. With the glaring need at safety and the lack of playmakers at the defensive tackle position, it seemed like a no-brainier given the amount of salary cap space the Cowboys have.
With free agency starting up this week, it seems to be pretty uneventful outside of the saga surround Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh. There are only a few big name free agents to be had, headlined by safeties Earl Thomas, Landon Collins and quarterback Nick Foles. That changed a bit on Friday with a storm of roster cuts from teams trying to position themselves to be players in free agency.
As we’ve seen in recent years, the Cowboys have put a premium on drafting well and keeping their own players rather than making big splash signings. Dallas was busy on Friday as well exercising player options and securing their own to new deals. So what does it mean going into free agency this week?
As a rule of thumb, teams don’t want to go into free agency or the draft with huge holes along their rosters. They want to have flexibility. Teams don’t want to have to pick a lesser player at a position of need if a better option is available at anther position.
On Friday, the Cowboys picked up player options on wide receiver Allen Hurns, linebacker Joe Thomas, and center Joe Looney while signing defensive tackle Daniel Ross, linebacker Justin March-Lillard, and safety Darian Thompson to one-year deals. It was expected for Dallas to let Hurns and, potentially, Thomas walk so the team could save up to $7 million in cap space.
What it really means is Dallas is covering their bases. The options that were picked up by the Boys serve as insurance policies. If the Cowboys didn’t exercise these options, then these players would be free to sign elsewhere. And that could force Dallas to overpay for their replacements.
Free agency has been a less than exciting time for Dallas Cowboys’ fans. We’ve seen it year in and year out, as the team has been much more conservative in their approach. But this offseason, the Cowboys only have six picks going into the draft. So don’t be surprised if you see America’s Team in the headlines meeting with some headliners of this free agency class in order to fill their needs.