With the unofficial start to free agency happening at around 3 pm central time yesterday, the NFL went into spending mode and threw money all over the place. It looked like the opening of an Apple Store when they release a new iPhone. Over the last 24 hours, teams lined up and gave players a boat load of money that had Cowboys fans, including me, curious at when the Cowboys might jump into the spending spree.
Aside from signing a tight end that nobody had ever heard of, the Cowboys have been pretty much absent from the unofficial start of free agency.
As we assess the Cowboys inactivity, it’s easy to get frustrated as we see names like Landon Collins, Lamarcus Joyner, and Tyrann Mathieu set the market for the safety position. Each of them got $10-$14 million per year in their respective contracts, which should tell you everything you need to know about what Earl Thomas’ price tag.
Jane Slater from the NFL Network, reiterated yesterday that the Dallas Cowboys aren’t going to be overpaying anyone, even DeMarcus Lawrence, as they attempt to keep the core of this team together.
If I had a dollar for every rumor or whisper I’ve run down regarding Earl Thomas to Dallas, I’d be retired on an island already. Don’t hold your breath. Here’s why…#Cowboys #FreeAgency #EarlThomas https://t.co/Wuw0u5M4rW
While it may be difficult to watch the rest of the NFL make additions to their roster, we shouldn’t be surprised by the Dallas Cowboys inactivity. They don’t jump into free agency head first anymore. Call it the Stephen Jones effect.
Since Jason Garrett became the Head Coach and Stephen Jones took on a more vocal role in the management of the team, the Dallas Cowboys have been reluctant to take chances on high-priced free agents. Instead, they’ve opted to sign their own players and build through the draft. And, in reality, that’s worked. The Cowboys have been one of the best drafting teams in the NFL in the last five or six years.
While we’d all like the Dallas Cowboys to make a splash and sign Earl Thomas, they’re sticking to a plan that has been good to them in the past. They don’t have a lot of bad contracts killing their cap, but at the same time, teams that typically get roasted for making bad signings, like the Washington Redskins, continue to find ways to be active in the free agent market. Teams that are typically spenders in free agency, the Los Angeles Rams and the Philadelphia Eagles, continue to spend money in free agency.
It’s hard to argue with a plan that has worked as well as it has over the last five years. Since 2014, the Cowboys have won three NFC East titles and been to the divisional round of the playoffs three times as well. Sure, those aren’t Super Bowls, but you have to get to the playoffs to have a chance to compete for a Super Bowl.
The Dallas Cowboys have built a fantastic team that has a lot of really nice players on offense and defense. They are only a few pieces away from being legitimate contenders for a Super Bowl in 2019. Though I’d like to see them bring in Thomas to play safety, it’s hard to argue against their free agency plan.
Yesterday’s spending was out of control. The Cowboys, like they always do, are sticking to their game plan and will make smart signings in the coming days and weeks after the market has cooled off. We can only hope that the market for Earl Thomas drops in temperature and he comes to Dallas at a rate less than the reported $15 million per year.
While it may be frustrating to watch the Dallas Cowboys front office sit on their hands while their division rivals get better, the bigger frustration is watching this team play hard ball with players they’ve helped to develop in DeMarcus Lawrence and Cole Beasley. This team might be able to afford watching Cole Beasley walk in free agency, but they need DeMarcus Lawrence. Like need, need. I believe that they’ll get a deal done with their leading pass rusher, but they need to make it happen sooner than later.
Important info on the DeMarcus Lawrence situation from @SlaterNFL. According to Jane, he feels disrespected. https://t.co/USKCr6ueEM