Dallas Cowboys: Waiting to re-sign internal free agents is wise

Nyg Vs Dal
Nyg Vs Dal /

“We like the guys we have” is a popular saying by Cowboys brass ’round these parts. Every year Stephen Jones pledges his allegiance to his own, as he speaks to the importance of retaining the Dallas Cowboys own free agents over that of pursuing outside free agents.

That’s all well and good when you have guys like Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and DeMarcus Lawrence entering free agency. They’ve proven their worth and we knew what we’re investing in. It’s not so easy when the Dallas Cowboys free agent class is Xavier Woods, Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and Aldon Smith. We have no idea what we’re getting with them.

The Dallas Cowboys should take a ‘wait and see’ approach with their own free agents

Proactively investing in any of these internal free agents is a risky proposition because all four have been wildly inconsistent in their performance and as such, very difficult to appraise. Let’s look at them…

Xavier Woods, SAF

Last season aside, Xavier Woods has been a success story for the Dallas Cowboys scouting department. Anytime you can take a sixth round pick and turn him into a 48-game starter, you won big.

He’s a middle tier safety who’s coming off a bad year. But it’s not unreasonable to expect he’ll be a solid starter again with a move back to a familiar coverage. Dallas Cowboys fans are down on him because of his play and some statements made last year, but if we’re being honest – no one on the defense played with effort. Woods just admitted it.

Rated as PFF’s 51st best free agent, Woods falls into the middle-class demographic of free agency. How much he’ll command is anyone’s guess but they think Woods is primed to re-sign with Dallas

Chidobe Awuzie, CB

Like Woods, PFF predicts the Dallas Cowboys will re-sign Chido to a multi-year deal. Awuzie is the walking definition of “average” in just about every way. Of all the players on this list he’s been the most consistent. But coming off a season where he was only able to start six games, there are some durability issues for the free-agent to-be.

How much does a spectacularly average CB2 cost on the open market is anyone’s guess. This is a pretty good reason to sit back and see how the market plays out.

Jourdan Lewis, CB

Let’s face it, the Dallas Cowboys have never really loved Jourdan Lewis. Despite questionable play by Chido and Anthony Brown in the past, Lewis has never gotten the nod from the coaching staff to move ahead of them on the depth chart. Only when injuries have ruled one of them out has Lewis gotten a crack at a starting CB spot.

It’s hard to imagine the free agent market offering him much either. Rated as PFF’s 150th free agent and coming off an absolutely terrible season, Lewis isn’t going to command much. He has a knack for the big plays and some plus ball-skills but he’s mistake-prone, undersized, and slow.

Aldon Smith, EDGE

Aldon Smith is another guy Dallas Cowboys fell in love with and just can’t quit. The feel-good story of the year came back to the NFL after a 5-year hiatus and was quite the force – early on that is.

We don’t know what exactly caused Smith’s decline last season but after starting the year as one of the most disruptive players around, he fell of significantly and was a JAG (just a guy) from Week 4-17. Name and reputation go a long way and we know how much teams are willing to pay pass-rushers so chances are someone’s going to throw a ton of cash Aldon’s way. Hopefully it’s not Dallas.

 Let the market show itself

Waiting just seems to be the smart move for the Dallas Cowboys this year. The only guy they shouldn’t be waiting on is Dak Prescott but let’s not get started on that mess.

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With the cap basically flatlining, the Dallas Cowboys don’t know what the going rate will be for mid-level free agents. And since the goal is to upgrade the team this offseason, there’s really no good reason to try. The 2021 offseason may be the perfect offseason to do what Stephen Jones loves to do – bargain hunt. After the initial flurry of high-end contracts, things are going to cool quickly. Money is tight for everyone and cheap labor has never been more important.

Why pay Chido or Woods when a rookie 1st or 2nd rounder can come in and be just as good if not better in Week 1? That’s the type of questions the Cowboys must ask.

Related Story. Who's more important to re-sign: Jourdan Lewis or C.J. Goodwin?. light

Brace yourselves, Dak Prescott may want a 3-year deal now. dark. Next

Aside from Dak, the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t be eager to sign any of their free agents this year. All of them are replacement level and in a year where money is tight, replacing them will probably be cheaper and better.

  • Published on 02/18/2021 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 02/18/2021 at 09:25 AM