Well, with the end of free agency day number three, we can certainly come to one conclusion: our cap space for the next few years is looking reeeeaaal purdy.
In keeping with themes of free agency years past, the Cowboys have looked to re-sign homegrown talent, and sign solid role players who can immediately contribute. Basically, players who our front office considers low risk, low reward type guys. And honestly, I like it.
I'm sensing some of you don't. I'm sensing some of you reading this are saying, “You're out of your mind. Bringing in Olivier Vernon would've instantly boosted our pass rush and Lamar Miller would've broken the single season rushing record.” While I somewhat agree with those thoughts, I also want to point a couple things out.
First I want to ask you: do you enjoy our running game? Not just our rankings and stuff, but, like, watching our offensive line bulldoze people on Sundays and seeing Darren McInjuryProne run for just under 1100 yards in all sixteen games?
Yeah, me too. You know who's really responsible for that success?
Travis Frederick is going into the final year of his rookie deal. At some point within the next two years, he's going to need to be re-signed. Alex Mack just signed a 5-year, $45 million contract. Zack Martin, a two time pro-bowler and rookie all-pro is going to have to be signed around the same time Frederick is, with likely a year in between. Kelechi Osemele just signed a 5 year, 58.5 million dollar contract with the Raiders, with 25.4 million in guarantees. La'el Collins will be coming down the pipeline soon after him.
Catch my drift? You can't think of us re-signing our own guys as givens, because they're not.
Every team is a different team. The way I think about it is, “Okay, who do we have under contract for NEXT season?” THAT'S your team. So, if Frederick becomes a free agent in March, he's not on our team, and we have no center. Thus, signing him to a new deal is the exact same thing as signing a big name free agent, because that's exactly what it is.
The only difference is, we already know he's a scheme fit and that he meshes with our team, so there's no gamble there.
It's unbelievable to me that teams shell out the cash that they do for players who thrive in other systems. No matter how similar the schemes are, they're always very different. The coaches are telling you new things, the quarterback has new timings, the players around you run different routes at different speeds. Again, no team is the same. Whether it's the Cowboys vs. the Giants, or the 2015 Cowboys vs. the 2016 Cowboys, they're all different, just to different degrees.
I'll admit, I was hoping to grab a starting caliber cornerback in free agency this year. We may still do that with Nolan Carroll, but he's going to be on the wrong side of 30 next January, which doesn't really jive with me all that much.
So, for those of you who are desperately waiting for us to make a big splash in free agency, I promise you we will, but it won't come this year, and likely won't be a player coming from another team. You're huge roster addition comes on April 28th.