The Dallas Cowboys have had a very good offseason but is there still room for improvement heading into the leftover wave of free agency?
The Dallas Cowboys have to be feeling good about themselves right now. They have addressed almost every glaring need and now find themselves with a good mixture of young and veteran players. The deadline for the NFL’s compensatory formula has come and gone meaning any remaining free agents would not factor into next year’s compensatory picks.
I still believe that the Cowboys can keep their momentum by bringing in another veteran or two to ensure that they have enough depth to make a deep playoff run. It’s surprising to see a few of the free-agent names still out there and I think there could be a few that can still contribute to this franchise.
Edge player Markus Golden is a lingering free agent that had 10.0 sacks last season for the New York Giants. Golden has the experience as both a stand-up and hand in the dirt pass rusher. Taking a pass rusher from our rival is also very satisfying when signing a free agent.
The issue with golden is that the Giants used a little known provision where they applied the unrestricted tag on him where he has till July 22 or the beginning of training camp to sign a deal. If not, he can only play for New York at a 10 percent increase. This means that Golden is looking for more than what the Giants are on the hook for at roughly $5.2 million for this year.
Free-agent safety Clayton Geathers is a name that should be somewhat familiar to the Dallas Cowboys fan base. They brought him in during last year’s free agency period but he ultimately decided to re-sign with the Indianapolis Colts.
The 6-foot-2, 216-pound safety has great measurables but has not put everything together. He only has one career interception and has had trouble staying healthy. A change scenery would be beneficial to his player who is a starting-caliber NFL player.
If anything were to happen to our projected starting safeties, having Geathers at a reduced role would keep him fresh and provide Dallas with a backup with valuable starting experience. With NFL rosters almost at capacity, I think you could get this guy at a significantly reduced rate.
Defensive end Everson Griffen is another veteran free agent that could intrigue the Dallas Cowboys. He had been a staple for a very good Minnesota Vikings team for a long time. At 32 years old, his days of being an every-down player might accelerate his decline but would be beneficial in a rotational role.
Baseball is starting to use pitchers in an “opener” capacity. Using Griffen as an opener for this defense would allow some of the younger guys to learn from an established veteran while also contributing to a defense that will emphasize takeaways by applying pressure from various angles.
This will also allow Griffen to save face by being the defacto starter on a very visible sports franchise. With the uncertainty of defensive ends Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith, having such a player is almost tailor-made for this situation. This will also allow those players to ease into the season after being out for so long.
A 6-foot-6, 345-pound offensive lineman named Cordy Glenn could provide swing tackle insurance for the Cowboys. I think this team is really thin on the edge and could use an immediate upgrade. Glenn is an established player that would give the Cowboys short-term insurance until a younger player is capable of handling the job.
Glenn is more than capable of stepping in and handling the job for a significant amount of time. Pro Football Focus had his overall grade as a 68.4 Which was almost ten points higher than last year’s swing tackle Cam Fleming.
Now, this is a reach but would be just as big as the draft was for the team. Edge defender Jadeveon Clowney is a free agent last of the Seattle Seahawks whose market never took flight. Clowney could be the most athletic defensive end in the NFL but has only flashed instead of dominated.
I think that the Dallas Cowboys should pounce on a one-year deal. The Seahawks could have used the same provision that the Giants used with Markus Golden but they declined. Doing so would have had Clowney return to them on a $16.5 million dollar salary. I think that Seattle is the front runner for his services.
I estimate a price tag for Clowney being around $14-$15 million on a one-year deal. Last season the Cowboys paid now Chicago Bears edge Robert Quinn almost $11 million for the year while giving up a sixth-round pick. Paying someone $4 million more is not an easy thing to do but one that I think could have a significant impact while also giving the fan base what they clamor for.
It seems to me that good Dallas Cowboy players have a history of getting paid elite dollars simply because of the publicity and hype of being a Cowboy. This should play right into Clowney’s hand. He plays for a team that can contend all while he builds up his brand.
If Jadeveon Clowney plays well, he can get his massive payday while the Cowboys get a compensatory pick down the road for him. Who knows, the player might fall in love with being a Dallas Cowboy and he could end up staying at a reduced rate while getting pretty good long-term security.