Jerry Jones' cheapness costs Cowboys quality Tony Pollard replacement

Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walks off the field after
Jan 7, 2024; Landover, Maryland, USA; Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones walks off the field after / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The first day of free agency is over and the Dallas Cowboys are the only team that didn't sign a player. It's clear Jerry Jones is going to do the absolute bare minimum to improve the roster, which is leaking oil at multiple key positions.

The only leg the Cowboy have to stand on is that they didn't overpay to keep their own free agents. Tony Pollard, Dorance Armstrong and Tyler Biadasz all signed healthy contracts on the open market. Pollard signed with the Titans, while Armstrong and Biadasz followed Dan Quinn to the Commanders.

Despite losing all three players early into the legal tampering period, Dallas reportedly only tried replacing one. The sign of life is a sign for optimism, right? Nope. In fact, fans are in for darker times than they envisioned.

In need of a running back, the Cowboys made a run at free agent Zack Moss, who signed a two-year, $8 million deal with the Bengals. Per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Moss' contract breached the team's comfort level.

Cowboys unwillingness to spend on free agent RB Zack Moss is embarrassing

Soak it in folks. Our beloved Cowboys found $4 million per year for Moss to be too steep. A former third-round pick of the Bills in 2020, Moss was one of the best running backs available after Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Pollard, Devin Singletary and Austin Ekeler all found new homes.

Moss shined for the Colts last season stepping in for the injured Jonathan Taylor. In eight starts, he accumulated 794 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 4.3 yards per carry. Moss also received a 72.8 rushing grade and averaged an impressive 2.79 yards after contact per rush to go with 36 forced missed tackles and 19 explosive runs.

Those numbers were right on par with Pollard's, even though Moss saw 69 fewer carries than the now-former Cowboy and featured in a worse offense.

Again, though, not signing Moss isn't the problem. There are other RBs available, including Derrick Henry, Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon (though we'd pass on him due to his off-field history) and J.K. Dobbins. It's the fact the Cowboys viewed $4 million per year for a quality player as too expensive.

Does that mean their comfort zone is $3 million? After the cap exploded to $255.4 million before free agency? Did the surprisingly flush RB market catch them by surprise? If so, why not restructure a contract to get compliant with the market? They always find a way to do things in the most embarrassing way possible.

Signing Moss wouldn't have made or wrecked the Cowboys' free agency, but this report speaks volumes about how Dallas plans to bolster its roster ... again. It hasn't worked in 27 years, but let's just keep swinging and missing.

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