Has the Dallas Cowboys’ free agency really been that bad?

Jayron Kearse, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Jayron Kearse, Dallas Cowboys (Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Dallas Cowboys Randy Gregory
Dallas Cowboys Randy Gregory (94) Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

I’ve been doing this writing thing for a pretty long time. I’ve been a Dallas Cowboys fan for a much larger portion of time. Because of both of those things, I can honestly tell you that free agency is never the fun part of the offseason.

To be a Cowboys fan is like being the poorest kid you know at Christmastime. I imagine it rivals being a sober, agoraphobic, introvert on New Year’s Eve. Each and every year, the Dallas front office seemingly lives to deliver nothing but socks and underwear under their fans’ Christmas trees. They make sure fans’ refrigerators have nothing but a single non-alcoholic beer to sip on.

Even the most prepared, most cynical person can still be Charlie Brown’d by Lucy that apparently has the last name “Jones.” In full disclosure, I would consider myself both prepared and cynical. Prior to the official start of free agency, I discussed what to expect.

I fully expected to lose defensive end Randy Gregory because I thought teams would throw too much money at him. I did not expect Dallas to lose him because of some ridiculous 25th-hour paperwork shenanigans. I also did not have the Cowboys as the last team to sign a free agent that did not play for the team the prior year. Dallas, to not be underestimated, waited six days into free agency before bringing in former Steelers receiver James Washington.

Big names, big money, or quick deals for other teams’ free agents will just never be what the Cowboys choose to prioritize. That does not necessarily mean that their free agency period has been a complete trainwreck, however. Before we go any further, this is not an attempt to make you feel better. It certainly is not about to be a puff piece either. Talk revolving around trades or releases will be minimal.

We all feel some level of disappointment but it feels like a fair time to truly assess what this team has done to build the roster for 2022. Has the Cowboys’ free agency really been that bad? Let’s break things down by each and every deal that has been signed thus far. After giving out some grades, you may find that the Cowboys free agency hasn’t been all that bad.

Please note that all contract numbers used are from Spotrac.