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Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension

For die-hard NFL fans, the period is as fun as any other week in the regular season. It's always a fun experience knowing what team is interested in which player and who's visiting who. Heck, there are websites with “ trackers” for people who don't want to miss a single thing.

Seeing the huge contracts some players get and discussing whether it's well-deserved money or an overpaid salary provides football fans all around the league with fun football conversations in the middle of March.

This is a period in which, despite not being on the field, every NFL team is doing the same thing. Trying to get better. Which is exactly why most Dallas are frustrated with how things have gone for their favorite team in this .

Right now, less than a week after the free agency period officially began, they're the only team left in the NFL that hasn't signed a single .

Surprising? Not at all.

Whether we like it or not, we know how this team likes to operate. A quiet free agency isn't out of the ordinary for the Cowboys. For many years, the has been the priority for them, and they've done a good job at it.

At the end of the day, waiting for the first wave of free agents to pass is smart unless you're looking for a QB or have a huge amount of cap space. When you look at what players are getting, you realize most of them are overpaid. got a $48M three-year deal, when he hasn't really proved to be worth it.

I don't think would've liked to see the Jones family bring Watkins for that kind of money. Personally, I don't mind the Cowboys' letting those first expensive signings occur without them participating in them.

I mean, they've already made a splash, when you think about it. was the biggest non-QB free agent of the year and they managed to keep him for at least next season. It's not exactly a free agent , but they are paying one of the NFL's best pass rushers more than $17M to wear one more year.

Cowboys Free Agency: The Thin Line Between Frustration and Comprehension 1
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Yes, the Cowboys' team-building philosophy is comprehensible. But when do fans like you and me stop understanding their approach and get bothered by it? To me, that frustration came in the form of Tyrann Mathieu signing with the other NFL team in Texas.

If the Honey Badger had signed a super expensive contract, I'd be fine with the Cowboys passing on him. But Houston was able to get him for just seven million dollars on a one-year prove-it deal.

Mathieu is one of the best defensive talents in the league and will be just 26 years old when next season begins. Why didn't the Cowboys tried to land him, if is a position of need? I mean, we've been talking about a potential for all year!

Were they hesitant just because the Honey Badger isn't your traditional safety? Are they so conservative that their reason to not go after him was he wasn't a scheme fit? When you're talking about a talent like his, I think you make things work to see him thrive along young and promising cornerbacks like and .

The Cowboys can still look at Tier-2 free agents such as TE or S over the following days. It could end up working for them, or it could end up just like 's horrendous game versus the Broncos in week 2 of the and his $2M in dead money for this year.

When it comes to the Cowboys' approach to free agency, there's a very thin line between comprehension and frustration. Maybe, just maybe, they make us understand next season when we see results on the field.

For now though, it's tough to stay in the “comprehending” side of things.

Mauricio Rodriguez
Mauricio Rodriguezhttps://www.facebook.com/PrimeroCowboys/
I love to write, I love football and I love the Dallas Cowboys. I've been rooting for America's team all the way from Mexico ever since I can remember. If you want to talk football, I'm in... You'll find me at @MauNFL.

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Kevin Black

For the scheme that Dallas plays, Tyrann Mathieu is not a fit. With some coordinators, they take the talent they have and mold it to them. Others have a scheme they believe in and want players designed for that scheme. Both work, but you have to understand which type you have.

As much as I love Marinelli, he’s a scheme first guy. He wants players that are designed for his scheme. If you get someone that doesn’t fit, he will fail miserably. I think even players understand that and I don’t think Tyrann even gave Dallas a thought as to signing here. He knew he wasn’t a fit and knew that he couldn’t showcase his skills here and get a multi-year deal next year if he signed in Dallas.

So this might be a case of where Dallas didn’t want Tyrann and Tyrann didn’t want to come to Dallas.

Reynaldo Laporte

I hear what your saying and as much as I love Marinelli, I feel some of his philosophies are outdated.

With that being said neither you nor Mr. Rodriguez mentioned how Matthieu is injury prone. I don’t care how talented a player is if you can’t suit up for a full season then what good are you.

Kevin Black

I don’t disagree. But with this staff, they weren’t going to sign Matthieu.

I was unaware of his injury history. It makes sense why he’s only signing a one year so he can try and break the bank next year.

Reynaldo Laporte

That’s why I’m glad we got Richard cuz he can bring a different perspective and take over once Rod retires.

The only knock I have with Matthieu is his health other than that he is an extremely dynamic player. Going forward I ask that our FO stay away from character and injury concerns.

Kevin Black

I’ll be curious how they play what we have. We only have one in the box safety with Frazier, but his coverage skills aren’t getting better. They tried to play Jones as an in the box safety and he can cover the TEs just fine, but he can’t stop anyone near the line. He just doesn’t have the frame for it.

I’d love to see them get James from Florida State in the draft, but he won’t drop out of the top 10 and we don’t have the draft capital to pull that off. Seems to have a lot of FS in this draft, just not a lot of good SS. Some so-so ones, but not a lot of good ones.

Reynaldo Laporte

That’s why I was upset that we didn’t sign Davis, that would have allowed us to draft without impunity.

We could have gotten an off ball LB, another WO, DB, and shored up other positions of need but no we go bargain bin hunting again.

I’m just a fan, but unless we this draft is light years ahead of the one we had two seasons ago I won’t be impressed.

Kevin Black

Davis? Do you mean Matthieu? You’d pay 7 million for 8 games?

Reynaldo Laporte

DEmario Davis the ILB. I was never for signing Honey Badger

Kevin Black

I’d rather have Jack Cichy or Josey Jewell. Plus it looks like Davis preferred NO due to it being close to home. The Jets also played a 3-4, so there is some question about Davis’ ability to go sideline to sideline, something that’s required for the middle in Dallas.

Reynaldo Laporte

Did you watch the Jet’s last season???? That was a stupid question nobody did.

I saw him play and he would have been an upgrade over Hitchens. I love Jewell too, better than Vander Esch. We need two LB’s tho cuz Sean ain’t playing a full season.

Kevin Black

Then I’m glad you aren’t the Director of Player Personnel and McClay is.

Reynaldo Laporte

I love Will, but while you’re at it ask him how those bargain bin players in FA have panned out.

Watch the tape Davis was damn good for NY and the responsibilities for an ILB are the same if he was in a 3-4, or a 4-3.

Like I was saying earlier if we would have signed him then an off ball LB, and DB would be our only priorities.

Kevin Black

ILB is responsibilities are not the same in the 3-4 versus the 4-3. The MLB in the 4-3 has to cover much more ground, pretty much sideline to sideline in our scheme, whereas the 3-4 has definite responsibilities in regards to side. In the 4-3, the strong side LB is responsible for the edge and trying to keep the play inside the tackles, but the MLB is designed to cover anything he can’t contain as well as cover all the gaps from tackle to tackle. Most 3-4 ILBs aren’t required to go from sideline to sideline, but to cover from the middle to one sideline. This was something teams did to allow them to have players that didn’t have the extreme skillset that a MLB needed in a 4-3.

In addition to that, the 3 cone is probably one of the better combine tests for LBs. Davis had a respectable 7.19. Anything under 7.2 is considered good. However, Josey Jewell had a 6.80, a much better score and shows how quickly he can move laterally. Both had a similar shuttle score (4.28 versus 4.27). Davis had a much better 40 time, but that’s not the best indicator of a LB (or any other position outside of wideout or corner). On top of that, Jewell is younger, cheaper and controllable at the lower price for at least four (4) years. With all the FAs coming out next year on this team, that will be key.

Reynaldo Laporte

Like I said what he was asked to do in NY and what he would have been asked to do for us would have been the same .

You want a rookie to be a starter at MIke???? I’m all for putting a players feet to the fire, but that is a lot to ask for a rookie. We know for certain that Sean Lee will miss games, we don’t know if Jaylon is the LB we want him to be and our depth behind them isn’t exactly promising.

I’m not just spitballing here our LB corps is suspect and he would have at least solidified one spot allowing us to draft an off ball LB while upgrading the middle.

Look at how our D fared when Hitchens or Lee was out of the lineup. It’s not like we have a stout front four eating up blocks. And you want a rookie to start???? Good luck with that.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention he signed a deal that was well within reason considering the player the Saints will get.

Then again you’re glad that I’m not directir of player personnel and Will McClay is.

Kevin Black

It’s not the same. in the 3-4, the ILB is only responsible for half the field. In the 4-3, the MLB is responsible from sideline to sideline. How is that the same?

Irregardless, you only need the mike for about 30% of the plays. Most of the time the defense is in the nickel and you would only have Lee and Smith on the field.

Kevin Black

P.S. it appears Will McClay agrees with my assessment. 😉

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