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.