It’s been a busy week at Valley Ranch as with the off season process in full swing as the Cowboys lasso free agents to get the ball moving. Every year under Jason Garrett Dallas has moved before the draft to build a team that leaves the Cowboys able to go BPA (best player available) with a needs slant. They also try and tie up burgeoning stars to team friendly deals they can extricate themselves from if it goes south or fully enjoy if it all pans out. They did this with Doug Free and also with Orlando Scandrick to give two examples of the north south variety.
With a serious boatload of team free agents, linebacker, corner back, defensive line, offensive line and wide receiver are areas the Cowboys have to address in a successful fashion or look at a one and done playoff season as they slide back to mediocrity.
WR Dez Bryant – “Da Man” got “Da Tag” and it’s now up to Sports Z Nation (yes, Dez got hooked into a “poser” sports agency) to hammer out a long term deal. Regardless, Dez will be a Cowboy in 2015 and two legs of the milk stool are in place. Waiting on Mr. Murray for word on that third leg ….
LB Keith Rivers – Bruce Carter, Justin Durant and Rolando McClain are all free agents. Another way to put this is the Cowboys entire starting linebacking core is probably going to play elsewhere next season. I’m putting LB in the “NEED” position (all caps) and now people understand why Dallas was looking at Ryan Shazier in the draft. Ideally you want to stagger your talent. The ‘Boys were unable to do that. The 6’2″, 235 lb, 28 year old Rivers is a speedy journeyman at OLB who has the physical tools and looks to be another “value” find by the scouting office. Rivers isn’t the answer, but he’s a lot better than no answer. Sean Lee is a HUGE part of the 2015 Cowboys approach to their LB corps. No doubting his talent, but do you feel good about his chances to stay healthy?
WR Cole Beasely – Da Bease got paid! Slated for “restricted” free agency the Cowboys made a preemptive strike ala Orlando Scandrick and signed Beasely to a four year, $13.6 million contract with $7 million in guaranteed salary. Beasely earned his paycheck and the Cowboys got a heady, dangerous receiver under contract for $3.4 million a year. This matches up well with Romo’s perceived player lifespan and gives him a returning target that knows how to play street ball with him. Devin Street is a stash on the roster Terrance Williams is entering the all important “third year” for WR’s. Dallas is looking deep and talented at the WR position. Well done!
Doug Free / Jeremy Parnell – The truth will set you “Free” as the Cowboys are inclined to let both RT’s test the market and hoping for a home town discount after the price is set. Try letting your wife shop that way on Rodeo drive and see how long your credit cards last. With two guys Dallas has to “hope” one will come through for them. “Hope” is best left for mental health exercises versus a free agency tactic.
DeMarco Murray – The truth will set you free – v2.0. The Cowboys believe Murray will get a reality check on RB value and Murray just wants a little love. Both sides have agreed to disagree and are (amicably) awaiting the reality free agency will bring.
George Selvie / Anthony Spencer – There is very little chance the Cowboys bring back both of these players. Spencer was coming on at the end of the year making him a very tempting target, however the rest of the league is always leery of players with microfracture surgery perhaps allowing Spencer to remain a Cowboy for life. Selvie was not as effective last year but still brought his all every play. If the Cowboys can get Spencer to feel good about all the coin he raked in his tagged years a nice two year deal could get done quickly.
Brandon Carr – All sorts of rumors swirling as Carr sits tight and waits for the Cowboys to make a move. Carr showed up for a meeting with the Dallas front office at the combine for a reason. There were obviously messages and positions exchanged for each side. No word on what those positions are but a pay cut has to be the focal point.
It all starts to come to a boil this weekend. I for one will be watching the stove closely.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over