Grading the Cowboys’ 11 in-house free agency moves so far
9. Malik Hooker, S
Contract: Two-year extension worth $8 million
Malik Hooker was a former first-round draft pick who just never quite lived up to his potential. After four years in Indianapolis, the Cowboys pretty much randomly picked up Hooker. Yet again, a bargain bin signing the Joneses hoped would work out. While Hooker wasn’t bad by any means, he didn’t have a year as great as Kearse did.
Hooker started in only three games for the Cowboys last year and tallied one interception to go along with 44 tackles. There is something to be said for continuity, but was Hooker exciting enough to keep? Arguably not. It’s not like his contract was a huge monetary hit, but the money could have been saved and used to sign a more solidified starter at the safety position to play alongside Kearse.
The safety has also spent most of his career battling injuries. As a top prospect out of college, Hooker has already had hernia surgery, a labrum injury, a torn ACL, a torn MCL, and a torn Achilles. This extension certainly gives the Cowboys some depth, but it was far from an exciting choice.
8. Noah Brown, WR
Contract: One-year extension worth $1 million
Let’s call it like it is…this certainly does not make up for losing Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson. Amidst a stacked wide receiver corps in 2021, Brown did next to nothing. He started in one game for Dallas collecting 16 catches for 184 yards. Most of his reps were with the special teams unit. Again, we aren’t trying to knock continuity and depth, but it’s hard to consider Brown true depth.
The reason this signing didn’t get a lower grade is that it’s costing the Cowboys barely anything. Watching billionaire Jerry Jones continue to make the cheapest signings possible is getting incredibly old. Despite the loss of Cooper and Wilson, Brown will most likely start in very few games once again next year. The 26-year-old simply isn’t at the caliber as the other receivers in the Cowboys corps. For now, we can hope he has a breakout season in 2022 like Wilson did last year.