After the first week of free agency, the Dallas Cowboys have been in the headlines of the NFL world once again. But this time, it isn’t because of who they signed, but because of who they didn’t re-sign.
Let’s take a look at who has left the team, and then we will take a look at who the Cowboys have signed.
I’m going to get this one out-of-the-way quick. And mainly because it’s been covered inside and out, and if you don’t know about it, you must be living under a rock or you’re not a football fan.
DeMarco Murray to the Eagles.
A player I didn’t expect to see leave was Justin Durant. But, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons for 3 years, $10,800,000.00. Why the 'Boys let Durant go is beyond me. Yes he was hurt a lot during his two years with the Cowboys, but he was highly productive when he was on the field.
The team also lost linebacker Bruce Carter. He left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 4 years, $17,000,000.00 with over 4 million guaranteed. I predicted a couple of weeks ago he would get paid somewhere, it just wouldn’t be in Dallas. And that held true. I for one will miss my Tar Heel wearing the star.
Signing a contract along with Carter in Tampa was Henry Melton. Melton was a low risk high reward signing last season for the Cowboys and it just didn’t work out. Melton signed a 1 year deal worth $3,750,000.
Right Tackle Jermey Parnell cashed in with the Jacksonville Jaguars on the first day for 5 years at $32 million. Parnell was a back up for Doug Free during his time in Dallas. Parnell did play well when he was called upon, so getting a nice contract didn’t surprise me.
Wide Receiver Dwayne Harris left for the rival New York football Giants. The Giants paid him way more than the Cowboys were willing to pay him at 5 years for $17.5 million. Harris' talents will be missed, although he wasn’t used in the passing game very much, his special teams play and run blocking were top-notch. But in my opinion, the Giants over paid for a guy who won’t be starting.
With everyone paying attention to who was leaving the Cowboys, not much attention has been put on who the Cowboys brought in, so let’s take a look who the 'Boys have signed in the last few days.
With the team losing Durant and Carter, Keith Rivers and Jasper Brinkley were signed to contracts to help fill the void that was left at the linebacker position.
Both Rivers and Brinkley more than likely were brought in for their ability to play a couple of different linebacker positions as well as to add depth at the position. I don’t look for Rivers or Brinkley to push for starting jobs but I could be wrong.
A couple of fullbacks were also signed this past week; Jed Collins from the Saints and Ray Agnew III from the Browns.
For those that think the Cowboys haven’t been very active in free agency, let me remind you of the players the team re-signed.
The team put the franchise tag on Dez Bryant. Starting right tackle Doug Free and starting left guard Ronald Leary will both be coming back. "Mr. First Down" Cole Beasley signed another contract and will be wearing a star for the next four years. The underused Lance Dunbar and punter Chris Jones will be coming back, as will swing tackle Darrion Weems and linebacker Cameron Lawrence.
The free agency period is only a week old, so look for more moves by the 'Boys. Also, for those wondering, the team will not be signing defensive end Greg Hardy, reports Mike Fisher and Mark Lane from Cowboys HQ.
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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