Quiet start to free agency, Cowboys still make some moves

Noah Brown, Dallas Cowboys, (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Noah Brown, Dallas Cowboys, (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys headed into this offseason with a plethora of needs. NFL free agency unofficially kicked off Monday as the legal tampering period began which basically allows teams to start the process of negotiating with eligible players although the official signing period does not begin until March 17. Practically speaking this is the start of free agency, but you could forgive fans of America’s Team for not knowing this.

The organization did not make any significant moves with its nearly $20 million in cap space yesterday. The biggest news of the day for Dallas may have been its signing of veteran long snapper Jake McQuaide, a move that likely ends the teams’ relationship with their own long-time long snapper  L.P. Ladouceur. The 40-year old Ladouceur had appeared in a whopping 253 games for the Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys also reportedly re-signed wide receiver Noah Brown to a one-year deal. The 25-year old receiver posted a career-high in receiving yards with 154 but mostly played a role on special teams for America’s Team. However, it was a relatively quiet start to the free agency period for the Cowboys.

Another piece of news relating to the team was that one of its own free agents, offensive lineman Cameron Erving, was reportedly signed by the Carolina Panthers. Erving started five games for Dallas in a year that was plagued with significant injuries to its offensive line.

Overall, it was a very quiet start to the free agency period for the Dallas Cowboys. Obviously, the organization still has plenty of time and (some) resources to make some moves this offseason. The team is in desperate need of help on the defensive side of the ball and should definitely try to address this need either in free agency or the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft.

The organization also tendered two of its restricted free agents. The moves mean that the team will likely keep both wideout Cedrick Wilson and defensive lineman Antwaun Woods. Woods accrued one sack and 23 total tackles in his 14 games played with the team last season while Wilson posted a career-high 189 receiving yards with three total touchdowns (two catching and one passing).

The most impactful news of the day for the Cowboys may have been the announcement that safety John Johnson III had reportedly signed a three-year, $33.75 million deal with the Cleveland Browns. Dallas is in dire need of help at the safety position, a need that is only exacerbated by the fact that one of the teams’ starting safeties, Xavier Woods, is a free agent this offseason.

Johnson III was one of the top-rated safeties in this years’ free agency class and his signing with the Browns deprives the organization of the opportunity to potentially pursue the talented young defender.

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The Dallas Cowboys kicked off the unofficial start to free agency with a whimper. Hopefully, the team will be more active in the remainder of the offseason so they can address positions of need moving forward.