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.
Why? Why would @dallascowboys not keep bruce carter?!?!? He only led our team in interceptions last season smh
This game is making me miss Justin Durant even more. Having him on the @dallascowboys still would have been so clutch.
@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.