Dallas Cowboys: Prepare for free agent bargain hunting…

Gerald McCoy (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Gerald McCoy (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Fans who are going mad watching all the missed opportunities fall off the free agent board need only look back to the Dallas Cowboys recent track record to understand the plan…

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Free Agency has begun. NFL teams are battling it out to sign the biggest names on the market. Every hour news breaks of a new high-profile signing. Every hour Dallas Cowboys fans wonder, “What the heck are the Cowboys doing?”

Outside of re-signing a few of their own players, nary a peep is heard about the Dallas Cowboys in the early days of free agency. For better or for worse, it’s how Stephen Jones and the Dallas front office do things.

Stephen Jones, the real Jones in charge of paying people in Dallas, is a bargain hunter. He loves getting deals. The low-risk nature appeals to him. It also keeps money in his pocket and options open in the NFL Draft.

Preparing for the Draft

Stephen looks for modest solutions for his team needs. He wants to sign players that take away the need, but aren’t so good they make you avoid it in the draft.

You see, spending huge money on a position in free agency typically means that position is scratched off the to-do list on draft day. This can be both good and bad. It’s good because it gives a team flexibility since they don’t have as many needs. It’s bad because if the best player available happens to be that position you just massively invested in, you probably can’t afford to drop draft capital in the position again.

Stephen looks for modest solutions for his team needs. He wants to sign players that take away the need, but aren’t so good they make you avoid it in the draft.

Diversifying Risk

Bargain hunting is also getting the most bang for your buck. Signing undervalued players to prove-it deals is a great way build a roster. These players are naturally more motivated to excel than their counterparts who just cashed in on ginormous contracts. Teams can also afford to invest in considerably more bargain free agents than they can in the top-tier free agents.

Basically, you can afford to strike out a couple of times when you invest in six bargains. You can’t afford to strike out at all on those market-setting free agents.

How to find bargains

Teams that want to find bargains in free agency need to closely monitor one thing: Player nervousness. When players see the market doesn’t love them quite as much as they thought, they tend to panic. This is a great time for teams like the Dallas Cowboys to pounce.

Offering the opportunity to build value on a high-profile team like the Dallas Cowboys can go a long way in negotiating with a nervous free agent. Sometimes it takes two days, sometimes two weeks, sometimes two months. It’s different for every player. Timing is key.

The Dallas Cowboys have made a handful of modest moves this first week in free agency. They may be signing someone as I type this article. But the chances of them breaking the bank in free agency is slim. That’s because Stephen Jones loves bargain hunting.

In coming days we’re going to see the Dallas Cowboys making some moves. That’s what they do. Some will work out and some won’t. That’s the nature of the bargain-hunting beast. You may like it. You may hate it. Just don’t be surprised with it because it’s what this team always does.

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The Dallas Cowboys are operating as they always do. They are bargain hunting and finding bargains often takes a little time. So don’t worry about earlier in the week. Bargain hunting season is about to begin and that’s when the Cowboys really get busy.

  • Published on 03/19/2020 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 03/19/2020 at 12:54 PM