The offseason is a funky time in the National Football League.
Hope exists within the halls of each and every franchise's headquarters as they all prepare thinking, "This is the year." Each moment of every day right now is being devoted to the preparation towards a run in 2016 as most teams have put the 2015 season behind them.
Perhaps no team has buried the 2015 season deeper than the Dallas Cowboys who, after much hype following a very successful 2014 campaign, suffered a litany of injuries and fell flat on their face in a 4-12 puddle.
The 2015 season differed from 2014 in more ways than an inverse record. There were a handful of Cowboys a year ago that, during Free Agency, defected towards new homes with higher salaries and supposedly greater opportunities for success.
Jerry Jones, the 2014 Executive of the Year, and the Cowboys Front Office have faced scrutiny from the uneducated for a long time. People tend to recycle the same old arguments that "Jerry doesn't know what he's doing," or "Jerry's just in it to sell tickets," when really that's quite silly.
The Jones Regime has proven that they have quite the eye for talent. It takes extreme skill and precision to identify talent and a poker player disposition to draft them at the right spots/value. Thankfully for Cowboys Nation, Jerry Jones embodies all of that.
Jones has also woven that impeccable business acumen that people laud him for into his General Management decisions (not to mention that he recently led the charge on the NFL's return to Los Angeles).
So what exactly am I talking about? We've done quite the bit of dancing so far and you don't even know what song is playing.
As much as it is indisputably true that Jerry Jones & Co. have had extreme success in their investments in the NFL Draft since 2000, they have also made great "business" decisions when it comes to where they don't invest - this business being football.
This Front Office has passed on re-signing supposed stars that many chastised them for letting get away. Here are some of the "big name" guys that they let walk a year ago:
|Player||2015 Team (After 2014 As A Cowboy)||New Contract|
|Bruce Carter, LB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4-year, $20.5M|
|Justin Durant, LB||Atlanta Falcons||3-year, $10.8M|
|Dwayne Harris, WR||New York Giants||5-year, $17.5M|
|Henry Melton, DT||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1-year, $3.75M|
|DeMarco Murray, RB||Philadelphia Eagles||5-year, $42M|
|Jermey Parnell, OT||Jacksonville Jaguars||5-year, $32M|
|George Selvie, DE||New York Giants||1-year, $1.4M|
|Anthony Spencer, DE||New Orleans Saints||1-year, $950k|
|Sterling Moore, CB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1-year, $1.5M|
At one point or another, the Dallas Cowboys were ridiculed for not keeping each of these players just one year ago. That's 365 days. 525,600 minutes. It's only been that long since people threw their hands up in the air, like they just didn't care, and said that the Cowboys had no idea what they were doing.
I suppose that it's somewhat understandable when you consider the 2014 season that some of these players had, but not to the 2014 Executive of the Year... he knew better. Here is the same list updated with their status as of today.
|Player||2015 Team (After 2014 As A Cowboy)||New Contract||2016 Status|
|Bruce Carter, LB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4-year, $20.5M||New York Jets (Cut by TB)|
|Justin Durant, LB||Atlanta Falcons||3-year, $10.8M||Free Agent (Cut by Atlanta)|
|Dwayne Harris, WR||New York Giants||5-year, $17.5M||New York Giants|
|Henry Melton, DT||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1-year, $3.75M||Free Agent (Not Re-Signed)|
|DeMarco Murray, RB||Philadelphia Eagles||5-year, $42M||Tennessee Titans (Traded)|
|Jermey Parnell, OT||Jacksonville Jaguars||5-year, $32M||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|George Selvie, DE||New York Giants||1-year, $1.4M||Free Agent (Not Re-Signed)|
|Anthony Spencer, DE||New Orleans Saints||1-year, $950k||Free Agent (Not Re-Signed)|
|Sterling Moore, CB||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||1-year, $1.5M||Buffalo Bills (Not Re-Signed)|
A startling two out of the nine "big name" players that left the Cowboys just a year ago are still on the team that lured them away. Two were outright cut by their new team, four were not re-signed (three of which are still looking for work), and a certain running back was traded away after causing too much drama in his 2015 home.
This is the talent that people pounded the table for Jerry Jones to re-sign. Seriously.
The latest Tweets and replies from WeatherManChayse (@chayse_93). Texas State Bobcat, HEB, Weather Geek. When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful. San Marcos, TX
@dallascowboys I truly believe the franchise made a mistake letting DeMarco Murray go, wow he's worth the money, who you have need 2 produce
Just realized the #DallasCowboys got rid of Sterling Moore. Whyyyyy!?
The last year has taught us that Jerry Jones and his Entourage know exactly what they are doing. They know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. They are masterful poker players and we have the privilege of watching them handle their business.
So the next time someone gives you hard time about Jerry Jones having no clue what's going on with regards to the team that he owns and operates... just give them a taste of reality. At the end of the day facts win, and the facts say that the Dallas Cowboys know what they are doing.
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
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