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Are the Dallas Cowboys in for Another Quiet Free Agency in 2018?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Are the Dallas Cowboys in for Another Quiet Free Agency in 2018?
Bob Levey / Getty Images

It's almost that time of the year. You know, that moment in March when free agents are being signed all around the league and we think to ourselves: "Will the Dallas Cowboys make a big signing this time?" Year after year, despite knowing how unlikely it is, we're expecting something to happen.

Well, it's not even February and it already looks like we're in for another quiet free agency in 2018. Earlier this week, Stephen Jones' comments to the media got a lot of Cowboys fans, writers and analysts discussing this team's approach to free agency.

https://twitter.com/HelmanDC/status/956294875724636160

This franchise has adopted a process of building a team via the NFL Draft. While we may not be happy with coaching or even some football players, it's more than fair to say this front office has been doing a very good job at drafting football players for a few years now.

That's why we were so concerned about the possibility of Will McClay leaving the Cowboys this offseason.

This is a football team that built one of the best offensive lines in the league by drafting top talent. Just a year ago, they let go most of their veteran defensive backs go, and walked away with Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis -- two cornerbacks who look like the future in Dallas.

One of the main reasons this franchise doesn't make big splashes in free agency is their cap space. Every season, this team struggles with low cap numbers. Take this year for example.

Per Over The Cap, the Cowboys are expected to have around $18M in 2018. This seems like quite a bit, and even more when you realize the team can restructure players or release a few expandable players (like Orlando Scandrick) who'll save this team some millions.

Who knows, they may end up surprising us all by saying goodbye to Dez Bryant.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Franchise Tags and Realities for Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence (Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports)

Even still, the Cowboys "To-Do" list is a huge one. In one offseason, they'll try to keep DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving and Anthony Hitchens, and give Zack Martin his long-awaited contract extension.

If they decide to tag DeMarcus Lawrence, that's more than $17M gone in an instant. Zack Martin will probably become the highest paid guard in the NFL. Hitchens and Lawrence won't be as expensive as these guys, but they won't come cheap either.

Getting this done won't be easy, but now imagine trying to bring in free agents who can improve this team. However, it's still possible if they decide to make some moves.

It sure would be exciting to see them pursue Earl Thomas, who told Jason Garrett "come get me" a month ago. Or maybe a wide receiver such as Donte Moncrief?

There will be a lot of talent available in March, and some of them could help this football team a lot. There're a lot of NFL teams who've benefited from bringing in free agents and the Cowboys might start wanting to do something different.

With a very tough offseason ahead, who knows if this will be the year that changes.

Tell me what you think about "Are the Dallas Cowboys in for Another Quiet Free Agency in 2018?" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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 @PepoR99.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. fgoodwin

    January 26, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    What’s it called when you do the same thing over and over and you expect a different result . . .?

    • Mauricio Rodriguez

      Mauricio Rodriguez

      January 26, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      Insanity, haha. Thank you for reading!

  2. Travis Diggs

    January 27, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    As a cowboys fan I feel sorry for will mcclay because he does a great job scouting and drafting. But jerry and stephen don’t meet him halfway with free agency because of cap issues. Easy solution, let guys like Scandrick and Crawford go and be aggressive in free agency with deals and trades. We watched our super bowl playing division rival last off season sign Patrick Robinson, Chris Long, Alshon, and T Smith and trade for Ajayi and Darby, and have a great draft class. Everything collectively has to work. Mcclain should of went to Houston when he had his chance. Jerry continues to waste team after team because of his decisions

  3. Tamzombren Lauderdale

    February 1, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I dont have a problem wit them not spending big in FA, but they need 2 make better decisions on the players they do decide 2 sign, the FA’s theyve signed the past few yrs has handicapped this team !

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Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo Won’t Be the Next Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator

John Williams

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It Is Time for the Dallas Cowboys to Move on From Tony Romo

The pipe dream has been going on since former Dallas Cowboys Quarterback-turned CBS Analyst Tony Romo hung up his cleats for the black blazer. Fans from all corners of Cowboys Nation have clamored for a return to the field or at worst the sideline as the Cowboys offensive coordinator.

Let me stop you right there. It's not happening.

First of all. He's never been a coach at any level of football, so to assume that he could leave the broadcast booth and step into coaching an NFL offense and doing so at a high level is a huge leap of faith in number 9. Sure, Jon Gruden left the Monday Night Football booth for his lucrative deal with the Oakland Raiders, but he had won a Super Bowl and had been an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL for years before joining the broadcasting ranks.

Tony Romo has an excellent understanding of football. He displays it on a regular basis during the CBS broadcasts. But doing from the broadcast view, seeing what the defense is trying to do, and calling the plays to counter what the defense is trying to do are very different things.

Secondly, the coaching job would be a major time commitment that at the moment he doesn't have. Even if he's working a 40 hour work week in preparation for his three-hour time slot, the demands on NFL coaches are easily twice that with many coaches putting in 100 hour work weeks in preparation for Sundays. Tony Romo has a family that even he's talked about as part of the reason that he went into broadcasting instead of looking to hop on with another NFL team.

Finally, the job would mean a significant pay cut from what Romo is already making. It's estimated that the former Cowboys quarterback is making anywhere from $5-10 million dollars a year with CBS. Jason Garrett is making $6 million per year as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, so even if the Jones family was willing to pay first-time NFL coach Tony Romo a ton of money to come out of the broadcast booth, there's zero chance they pay him what he's making as a broadcaster. To do so, would be to undercut the head coach. Jason Garrett is Jerry Jones' guy. The owner and general manager wants Garrett to be the guy that leads the Cowboys to Super Bowl success, so there's zero chance he'd pay a coordinator close to Garrett's money, which would lead to constant speculation about the head coach and his future with the organization.

I love Tony Romo. His jersey is one of only two Cowboys jerseys that I own -- along with Darren Woodson -- and I think he could make a good coach one day, but I'd be hard pressed to see him come out of the coaching booth to take a coordinator job and have immediate success. The guys that are offensive coordinators in the NFL have been grinding for years to earn their jobs. Most started as position coaches -- see Sean McVay as Redskins TE coach. The Dallas Cowboys will spend the next few days, and perhaps weeks, identifying their replacement for Scott Linehan, but let's put to bed the dream of Romo as offensive coordinator.

It's just not going to happen.



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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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Dallas Cowboys

Breaking: Scott Linehan and Dallas Cowboys Part Ways

John Williams

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Scott Linehan Acknowledges Need for New "Wrinkles" in Cowboys Offense

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network is reporting that the Dallas Cowboys and Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan have mutually agreed to part ways following a tumultuous season that saw the Dallas Cowboys offense finish outside the top 12 three out of his four seasons in Dallas.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Sources: The #Cowboys are firing OC Scott Linehan. Taking their offense in a new direction. An announcement is coming.

Scott Linehan was brought in prior to the 2015 season and saw his offenses finish 31st, fifth, 14th, and 22nd in his four years as the Cowboys play caller. The 2015 season can be excused as the Cowboys rolled out Kellen Moore, Matt Cassell, and Brandon Weeden for 13 starts after Tony Romo was injured twice during the season, but the team 2-11 in those 13 starts and the Cowboys failed to make the playoffs despite a strong performance on the defensive side of the football.

The Cowboys saw an offense that finished fifth in the NFL in points in 2016 decline each of the last two offseasons and Linehan has been continually criticized by analysts, fans, and players as well.

Many believe that the reason that Dez Bryant and Brice Butler weren't brought back in the offseason was because of the public criticism of the offense and the play caller instilling the offense and that criticism has carried over to this season when Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper acknowledged that the Philadelphia Eagles were sitting on the slant routes that they had run all game. Dak mentioned that he changed Amari's route to a go route, which led to a 75 yard touchdown that helped open up the offense.

Cole Beasley has been frustrated with his role for much of the season and deservedly so. He was often non-existent in the offensive game plan until the final five minutes of football games.

In the running game, the offense had become too predictable and reliant upon jumbo formations that led to Ezekiel Elliott having to run against eight in the box anywhere from 25-30% of the time. For perspective, Todd Gurley only ran against eight-man fronts around eight percent of the time. Scott Linehan never looked to attempt to take players out of the box, instead insisting on motioning more players into the box for the offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott to run against. It's amazing when you think about it, that Ezekiel Elliott was able to win the rushing title when facing loaded fronts as often as he did.

This was a move that needed to happen and the Dallas Cowboys didn't need to waste anymore time to make it happen. The offense had become stale and frustrating for the players as well as the fans. While Jason Garrett started the offseason saying he "didn't expect any changes," this was a move that absolutely had to happen for the offense to take a step forward. Below, you can read Jason Garrett's announcement on the move.

Mike Garafolo on Twitter

Cowboys have fired Scott Linehan

Even after the move for Amari Cooper, the offense looked better, but it still struggled at times to move the football.

The Cowboys have a young team with especially young players on the offensive side of the football. They have a quarterback who can throw from the pocket, but has excellent movement skills and capabilities of throwing the ball on the run. He's an excellent runner on designed runs. Despite us knowing all that, Scott Linehan looked reluctant to use him on designed quarterback runs that weren't read options or speed options. What you saw on designed runs in the Seattle game is what this team should be doing five times a game.

Now the question becomes, who should the Cowboys next offensive coordinator be? Our own, Staff Writer Brian Martin, laid out 5 Options to be the Next Offensive Coordinator earlier this week. I suggest you give it a read.



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