The narrative around the Dallas Cowboys this offseason has been about the team finally having enough cap space to be active in free agency. Some think the Cowboys can take the money that would otherwise be used to sign Dak Prescott and use it to build up the defense.
That said, this is not a “sign Dak” article. They should, of course, but that is not what this piece is about. This article is about the false assumption that the front office will do the right thing – even if they have the money.
Think about it: Spending money on improving the defense has not been a strong point for the front office.
The Dallas Cowboys front office has been selling the story of cap space and some are foolishly buying it.
Looking at the past few free agent markets, the Dallas Cowboys ventured into, the front office has not been successful nor have they been aggressive in free agency to improve the team. Instead, Stephen Jones decided to go into the latter tiers of free agency, hoping the team would strike gold.
Instead what has happened is the team has lost talent, ignored key positions, and actually wasted money.
The big defensive free agent signing of 2018 was linebacker Joe Thomas. Thomas was a solid backup but did not improve the defense. In 2019, the big name for the Cowboys was safety George Iloka, who never played a snap for the Cowboys.
In 2020, it appeared the Cowboys went after names people knew, however, those names were shells of their former selves. Dontari Poe was a disaster, HaHa Clinton-Dix was cut, and the mix of corners was abysmal. Aldon Smith lit the football world on fire for a few weeks, the disappeared as the season wore on.
If the Cowboys keep their precious cap space by not signing their quarterback, the front office has done a terrible job of evaluating the free agency market and spending to get players to fill positions of weakness. Instead, the front office keeps saying, “We like the players we have.” The problem is the players they have are not good enough. Sure, a new scheme (again) could help but the devaluing of defensive tackle, safety, and cornerback has been a problem for the Cowboys.
So regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on, until this front office of Will McClay, Stephen Jones, and Jerry Jones shows they are willing to spend the money on valuable free agents, there is no reason to think they will now.
Instead, the front office has let the defense fall into despair with a desperate need to fix it. Something needs to change, it won’t be the front office itself, maybe it can be how it views free agency.