Dallas Cowboys: 4 free agents that actually make sense

Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)
Keanu Neal, Atlanta Falcons (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Cowboys, Dak Prescott
Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott (4) Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

In less than one week, the free agency floodgates officially open. For fans of the Dallas Cowboys, this period is usually filled with consternation and faux joy.

It’s the rare situation that occurs where (insert big-name free agent) and Dallas comes together on a big deal. For better or worse, the Cowboys prefer to be thrift shoppers while most of the rest of the league makes at least some sort of splash.

It was almost nine years to the day that Dallas opened up their wallets and splurged for a high-priced option. Cornerback Brandon Carr, fresh off of four productive seasons with the Chiefs, signed with the Cowboys for five years and $50.1 million.

Carr was the consummate pro in Dallas. He was reliable on the field and wonderful off of it. Even though he started every game over his deal, he was never really spectacular, however, which caused a lot of people to label him a bust. The Cowboys have never gone big fishing since.

The Dallas Cowboys front office will tell anyone who listens that they prefer to spend their money to re-sign their own players and build through the draft. This is a great practice in theory, but it obviously has not produced the results that fans or the organization strive to achieve.

With that being said, if you want to celebrate a high-priced free agent signing, I’ll point you to locking in quarterback Dak Prescott to his long-term deal instead of settling on another year of the franchise tag. Technically, Prescott was a free agent, although he was never really going anywhere. Regardless of semantics, that’s the only you’re going to get.

Dallas still has a need to augment the roster via free agency, however. If you read my article last week, I highlighted the team’s biggest needs. After signing Prescott, the 2021 salary cap space sits at $19.6M, according to overthecap.com. That number was recently aided by offensive linemen La’el Collins, Zack Martin, and Tyron Smith all restructuring their deals.

One other potential help to the Cowboys shopping list is the supply and demand scenario set up by the pandemic. With a lower-than-expected salary cap number ($182.5M), many teams have or will be releasing quality veterans to get under the cap. Many are speculating that a lot of veterans will likely take one-year deals and head back into the market in 2022 when that cap number elevates.

So, who makes the most sense for the Dallas Cowboys shopping needs. Let’s take a look at four perfect fits for the team on the open market.