Dallas Cowboys front office continues to embarrass
By Tyrone Starr
After laying an egg during the first wave of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys front office continues to show its embarrassing non-committal to winning.
The first week of free agency has come and gone. Much like years past, the Dallas Cowboys willfully chose to sit it out. Unlike years past, they did not have to do so. Armed with the most cap space this team has had the entire decade, it stood to reason that maybe this time would be different.
Given some of the talent available, at key positions of need, it made sense that the Dallas Cowboys would dip their toe in the free agent waters. Going off of the word of the owner, there was supposed to be an urgency to improve this roster to get it over the hump of the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Instead… crickets. Oh, the Dallas Cowboys signed a couple of guys, none of which will do much to improve the roster.
So far, the free agency scoreboard for Dallas looks likes this. Signed – receiver Tavon Austin, offensive lineman Cameron Fleming, fullback Jamize Olawale and defensive tackle Christian Covington. Lost – receiver Cole Beasley, linebacker Damien Wilson and tight end Geoff Swaim.
Austin, Fleming and Olawale were Cowboys last year. It’s hard to argue bringing back these guys counts as an improvement, given that they were already on the roster. Covington (yawn) would count as an improvement over, say, David Irving only in that he’ll actually likely be present.
As for who they lost, Wilson and Swaim were replaceable but Beasley, that’s definitely not improving the roster letting him walk. Can you justify not paying Beasley $29M with $14M guaranteed? Sure, especially given some of the pending extensions some big names are due.
Still, Austin is not a better receiver than Beasley. No one else on the roster will be able to fill his role in the slot better than he could. As for the draft, it’s unlikely a rookie will do so either. If this was the only blunder, it might be excusable. Sadly, the front office’s reluctance to do the right thing is becoming more troubling as each day passes.
Take, for example, the contract given to Olawale. Dallas is the only team so far to sign a fullback. Not only is the position somewhat extinct, it’s obvious there wasn’t a big need to rush to sign one.
Did that stop the Joneses? Of course not. In fact, they gave Olawale a three year deal worth $5.4M with nearly $3M guaranteed. Olawale literally touched the ball twice all season, both being receptions and was in on just 130 total offensive plays in 18 games.
But wait … there’s more … The Dallas Cowboys front office continues to fail at getting a long-term deal done for defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. This despite the fact that
- He’s the only guy on the roster capable of producing double-digit sack seasons.
- Defensive line is one of, if not the biggest need on this team.
- He’s done everything asked of him and deserves the deal.
Instead, the Cowboys have used the franchise tag (again) on him, placing a cap hold of over $20.5M on their books. It’s not just bad business from a financial standpoint, it’s a slap in the face to one of the guys on this team who is a leader.
Why the Joneses chose this action makes no sense. Over the past two seasons, Lawrence has more sacks, quarterback hits and tackles for loss than both J.J. Watt and Khalil Mack. He has more tackles than Aaron Donald and Watt, yet he’s the only one without a long-term lucrative deal.
Think it can’t get any worse… oh wait… there’s more. With a glaring need to improve at the safety position, coupled with a future Hall of Famer begging to play for the Cowboys, what did the Dallas front office do? Not a damn thing.
Instead, Earl Thomas will be patrolling the back end of the Baltimore Ravens defense for the next four years. Now, some may argue that the $55M price tag was too much for him, given his age and recent injury but I’m not one of those.
Even if it was too much, the Cowboys have also passed on Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu, Lamarcus Joyner, Eric Weddle and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. They are also reportedly not interested in newly released safety Eric Berry.
It is clear that the front office has no desire to truly contend for a championship. I’m sure they’ll continue to make minor tweaks here and there. They’ll tell you all about how they’ll use the draft to shore up holes (even though they don’t pick until 58th overall.) They may actually even get a deal done with Lawrence, eventually.
The problem is that actions speak louder than words. So far, the Dallas Cowboys actions tell you all you need to know. Jerry and Stephen Jones are not interested in doing whatever they can to make the Dallas Cowboys a Super Bowl contender. They are only interested in conning their fans into thinking they are.