As football fans all across America get ready to watch the Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys can mark their calendars for 27 years and counting without an appearance in the biggest game on the planet. In some ways, not making the Super Bowl has become a sad anniversary for Cowboys Nation.
Instead of expecting to go to the big dance, fans have succumbed to expect a sad outcome like the one the Cowboys experienced against the San Francisco 49ers in the last two seasons. Then Jerry Jones does his annual State of the Union address after another disappointing season on how he loves the team and how him and front office are committed to winning a Super Bowl. Yes, let us continue to believe the propaganda!
We noticed how the Dallas Cowboys are not big spenders in free agency and “love their own players” but addition by subtraction of talent can be costly when you miscalculate on either the expectation or development of players.
At some point, the Dallas Cowboys will have to spend money in free agency if they ever expect to win another Super Bowl
The NFL draft is two months away, and the Dallas Cowboys are one of the best teams at drafting players. It is the one thing this fan base can hang its hat on. Building a team through the draft is the ultimate cheat code because teams put themselves in position to win a Super Bowl with players on rookie contracts, especially if it’s the quarterback (think Russell Wilson when he won his Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks).
Of course, it is not the only way to build a talented roster to win the Super Bowl. Dallas’ front office is not big spenders in free agency and like to spend their money wisely on good players but for cheap . In other words, the front office likes to bargain bin shop for elite players because they believe they can find that expensive suit at the thrifty store.
It worked with players like Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse. For the last two seasons, these two safeties were beyond good in Dallas’ secondary. These two stepped up with timely interceptions and overall big play ability-the primary reason why this defense led the league in takeaways for the second consecutive year.
But it is not going to get you to the promised land if you fail to upgrade/invest in other key areas like wide receivers, defensive tackle or the offensive line. At some point, the Jones’s are going to have to open up their wallet and spend on a free agent player that can at least get them over the hump.
I know the fan base is split on this topic, but what other options do they have while their Super Bowl window remains slightly open?
Does spending big in free agency guarantee you an invitation to the Super Bowl? Of course not, but just like playing the lottery, the more money you spend on lotto tickets increases your odds of winning millions. If you need any proof of spending money on key free agents, there is recent history to make you think twice. about it.
The Los Angeles Rams went all out in 2021 and signed former Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr, after his release from the Cleveland Browns. They traded for All Pro edge rusher Von Miller, and made the biggest trade by sending a pair of first-round draft picks to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford. And the Rams had already traded for All Pro corner Jalen Ramsey back in 2019 and signed outside linebacker Leonard Floyd as a free agent in 2020.
These elite players joined other game-changing players like offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, defensive tackle Aaron Donald, wideout Cooper Kupp and a strong supporting cast of players at every position. It paid off with the Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history.
One of the teams the Rams beat on their way to winning Super Bowl LVI, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, took a similar path in 2020 when they won their second Lombardi Trophy by signing Tom Brady, wide receiver Antonio Brown, and tight end Rob Gronkowski before the 2020 season.
And yep, you guessed it. This year’s Super Bowl attendees did something similar and the main reason why they are representing their respective conferences. Those evil Philadelphia Eagles traded for stud wide receiver A.J. Brown and made other moves to give them the best record in the NFC and tied for best record in the NFL. Oh, and Jalen Hurts benefited from these moves to the point he is a legitimate MVP candidate. You cannot make this stuff up.
The Kansas Chiefs traded All Pro wideout, Tyreek Hill, last offseason but spent money on other offensive weapons to help Patrick Mahomes. To me Mahomes is truly “Jesus playing quarterback”, but the Chiefs knew Mahomes needed some disciples to carry out his mission and signed receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster (one-year deal worth $10.75 million) and Marquez Valdes-Scantling (3-year deal worth up to $36 million).
Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling joined future Hall of Fame tight end Travis Kelce, allowing Mahomes to use his God-given talents to pass for 5,250 yards, 41 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and claim the number one spot in quarterback rating with a 77.5. My Gawd!
The Chiefs did not stop there because they signed safety Justin Reid to a 3-year deal worth $31.5 million. Reid led a Chiefs defense that was instrumental in batting down seven of Joe Burrow passes and stopped the Bengals receivers from gaining 100 receiving yards. Reid also had seven solo tackles.
So, two of the previous Super Bowl winners spent their money appropriately/wisely to win a Super Bowl title while the current Super Bowl attendees did the same thing. This formula works, regardless of how you feel about spending or not spending money because we all know the salary cap can be manipulated the same way Jerry manipulates his loyal fan base each every year with vague promises.
I strongly believe in building a team through the draft, developing the talent, and re-signing the talent if they become budding super stars like Trevon Diggs, Micah Parsons, Tony Pollard, CeeDee Lamb, and Dak Prescott. However, I also believe there are times to spend money on an elite player when the opportunity presents itself.
No, I am not calling for what the Rams did where they bargained away so many future first-round picks. It worked for them to win a Super Bowl, but not the strategy this franchise needs or will do.
Unlike the Rams who went bonkers to win the Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys don’t have to go all out to spend big and have buyers remorse (Amari Cooper $20 million a year contract) because what they truly lack is another offensive weapon to go with Lamb and upgrades in a few others. Addressing that issue firstly will do wonders for Dak and the betterment for the entire offense.
The defense is solid and need more pieces to build around Parsons, the cornerstone on the defense. The key is identifying those key players and signing them to a decent contract instead of looking for that diamond in the pockets of a cheap suit at the thrifty store.
If the Dallas Cowboys really want to win another Super Bowl in this lifetime, then Jerry is going to have to pay for that diamond the same way he paid for that $250 million dollar yacht. And we know he didn’t buy it at the thrifty store!