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Hurt Runs Deep: When Free Agency Most Pained Cowboys Fans

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines -  56

At this point in the year, just about all major professional sports besides baseball are in a "dead" period. Football is still weeks away from training camps opening up, hockey and basketball have just finished their seasons, and well, I don't know what happens in any of the other sports.

This past weekend was a big one for NBA fans, however, as free agency opened up and record-high deals were signed. While some had larger dollar amounts, none of these deals impacted the power struggle in the league the way Kevin Durant leaving Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors did.

This isn't a basketball site, so I don't need to go into any of those details, but this was obviously a huge signing. Golden State gained a top player in the league while Oklahoma City lost the first superstar they had ever known, a player who had a great impact on their community on and off the court.

Predictably, many of their fans reacted poorly to the news. Jerseys were burned, expletives were used, and hate was spewed towards their former "homegrown son," Kevin Durant.

From the outside looking in we may think these fans are acting like fools, but as Cowboys fans we have certainly been left by a few players through free agency before. I am all for players getting their money, and if the Cowboys aren't willing to pay it, then you should go find someone who will. That doesn't mean it is easy to see your favorite players leave the team, however.

Let's take a little trip down memory lane to remember some of the free agents that decided Dallas was no longer the right home for them.

DeMarco Murray, Running Back, 2015

Cowboys Blog - Welcome Home, DeMarco Murray 3

Aug 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray (29) runs with the ball against the Baltimore Ravens during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Just one year ago we saw DeMarco Murray walk away from the Dallas Cowboys to join the hated Philadelphia Eagles, signing a multi-million dollar deal which the Cowboys were not willing to match.

Just about every Cowboys fan knew that Murray was all but gone once the 2014 season ended. He was coming off of a record breaking year in which he rushed for over 1,800 yards and was in the MVP discussion, giving him the leverage to command a boat-load of money.

Even though we knew he'd be gone, it still hurt to see him go to Philadelphia. ANYWHERE but the Eagles, DeMarco.

The Cowboys undoubtedly got the better end of this deal, however, as Murray had a disastrous season in Philadelphia before being traded to Tennessee, and our Cowboys later drafted Ezekiel Elliott.

Only bad things happen when you voluntarily go to Philadelphia, remember that kids.

Emmitt Smith, Running Back, 2003emmitt cardinals 1

Emmitt's situation was a lot different than Murray's was, but it still hurt to see him go.

The Cowboys released the NFL's all time rushing leader following their disappointing 2002 season, mostly in an attempt to get younger, but also because they didn't want to pay the price which Smith was asking.

Smith decided to sign with the "sort of-rival" Arizona Cardinals on a two year deal in 2003. While he didn't willingly leave the Cowboys like Murray did, it was still hurtful and weird to see him in another uniform.

Like they always say, though, business is business.

Ken Norton Jr., Linebacker, 1994

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 13: Linebacker Ken Norton #51 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a play during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park on November 13, 1994 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won 21-14. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 13: Linebacker Ken Norton #51 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after a play during a game against the Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park on November 13, 1994 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won 21-14. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

As we all know, the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers epitomize football royalty in part due to what they did during the early 1990's. Cowboys then-head coach Jimmy Johnson once said that he felt like they had already won the Super Bowl after beating the 49ers during the 1993 NFC Championship game, and all he had to do was make sure his team stayed focused for Buffalo in order to win the actual Super Bowl.

While we remember those 90's Cowboys teams largely for their offensive triplets, we should never forget how all-time great their defense was as well.

Linebacker Ken Norton Jr. was the leader of that fearsome defense, but when faced with free agency in 1994, he decided to leave the Cowboys to join the hated 49ers.

Norton won a third straight Super Bowl in 1994, but did so in a 49ers uniform, something many Cowboys fans will never get over.

What was your worst free agency memory?

Whether it was one of these three players or another instance such as DeMarcus Ware joining the Denver Broncos, let us know in the comment section when you were most hurt by a players departure!

Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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