Dallas Cowboys’ Free Agency Update – No Time to Panic


There is a plan. The Dallas Cowboys came into the offseason with a plan in place, and so far, they are simply following the script. Not everything is controllable. “It takes two to tango”, they say. The Cowboys want their players back, to varying degrees, but their “want” comes with limits. Every player has established a value with the team, and the team is determined to stay within those parameters.

Justin Durant? Gone. The Cowboys wanted the versatile (yet injury-prone) LB back, but were not willing to pay the price he commanded. The best player of the 2014 season’s first half, will now play in Atlanta next year. So be it.

Dwayne Harris? Gone. The feared return man and top special teamer is going to the rival Giants. It’s a sad thing to see, but losing him was part of the script all along. The Cowboys all-but made the call on Harris when they re-signed slot receiver Cole Beasley. The Cowboys couldn’t even get in Harris’ ballpark as he eventually signed for 5yrs/$17M with a staggering $7.1M guaranteed.

More from Dallas Cowboys

DeMarco Murray

? Still shopping the market. Make no mistake, the Cowboys want Murray back, but his demands currently reside outside the parameters of the Cowboys’ plan. Ryan Mathews signing with Philadelphia as their new RB certainly helps.  The move likely eliminates the Eagles from the Murray bidding-war, and allows Cowboys Nation to take a collective sigh of relief.

"But offers are out there, and the Cowboys continue stand their ground…according to the plan."

The Cowboys are adaptable but they are no longer operating with emotion like they had in the past. They know full-well that overpaying at one spot, will require them to underpay at another. The Cowboys desperately want to upgrade the defense but they need to spend responsibly elsewhere, in order to afford it.

Bruce Carter? Shopping. The Cowboys would be wise to stick to their guns here as well. The temptation to overcommit will be strong given the loss of Durant to the Falcons, and the uncertainty about Rolando McClain’s free agency options. Bruce Carter is a physical beast but for every good play he has on film, there are 10 poor plays. Before breaking out the last month of 2014, he was benched for poor play, poor attitude, and complete ineptitude in the film room. He’d be great to have back, but only at the right price.

"UPDATE: Adam Schefter reports Bruce Carter signed with Tampa Bay."

More from Sports Dallas Fort-Worth

Rolando McClain

? Shopping. The Cowboys have an offer in for the former 1


rounder but await response. McClain played like an MVP last season, even ended as a runner-up for Comeback Player of the Year. But his very questionable behavior (and his 4


failed test) makes him exceedingly difficult to valuate.

Dez Bryant? Pending. Dez may have been slapped with the franchise tag but a long term deal remains the goal for both sides. The Cowboys want to sign him but only at the right price. If they can, more money will be freed to be spent elsewhere (because of contract structuring).

The biggest hurdle to overcome for all of these players is guaranteed money. No player is a sure thing and all players come with risk. The Cowboys are factoring this into every negotiation. The more time that passes, the more it works to Cowboys’ advantage. It feels like an eternity, and the Cowboys will probably lose a couple good players as a result, but it’s what the best teams do. It’s a reality when you play hard-ball.

The Cowboys are sticking to the plan so far, and that’s a good thing to see.

Next: Re-Signing Free Agents, Zero Sum Game