The Dallas Cowboys have been very quiet thus far in free agency, even more quiet than expected. They've sat out the first wave of, what they perceive to be, overpaid players to allow the second and third tier guys to hopefully fall to them on a discount.
The idea is, or at least the idea they sell fans is, that they can't "over" spend on talented players like Earl Thomas because they need that extra money to take care of their own. The Cowboys strategy is to draft well, hit on their picks, and re-sign their own free agents when the time comes.
When you draft well you obtain players worthy of long term contracts. Players who are "homegrown" and committed to the franchise's direction. This all makes logical sense.
But, well, are the Cowboys going to actually take care of their own?
If you ask defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, I doubt that he'd feel very "taken care of" at the moment. Dallas franchise tagged Lawrence to avoid letting him hit the free market, giving themselves an extended period to negotiate an extension. Lawrence, who played on the tag last season, is looking for a lengthy and expensive extension with the Cowboys.
The Cowboys, on the other hand, appear to be looking to nickel and dime him any way that they can. Rather than signing him to an extension worth about $17 million a year last offseason they elected to make him "prove it" to them again. Because of injury history and some up-and-down play in the past, the tag made sense.
He proved it, though, having one of the best seasons of his career and continuing to excel as one of the top EDGE players in all of football. Now the market says he's worth much more than $17 million a season, and would get over $20 million on the open market in free agency.
He's earned his contract. He's earned that top tier money. And it's time the Cowboys actually take care of their own, rather than simply saying they will do so.
It's still early in the process, there is no doubt, but this is off to somewhat of an ugly start. If a player's Twitter likes and NFL "insider" rumors are any indication (I readily admit they might not be), Lawrence and the Cowboys are further away than fans would hope for.
We have about six months before a meaningful game is played, and a Lawrence extension still remains likely prior to week one. But despite what Cowboys' media and fans want to say and believe, sometimes the national guys do get it right. And those national guys are wondering if Lawrence and the Cowboys are in for an ugly summer, with holdouts and in-fighting rather than good-faith negotiations.
For the sake of the Dallas Cowboys, I hope this is not the case. Luckily, I do think they will get an extension done, and DeMarcus Lawrence will have a long term deal with the Cowboys before September.
But if this is botched as badly as the early signs point to it being, Dallas' whole free agency philosophy could fall on its face. Upsetting their defensive leader, and one the best players on their team, would do serious damage to the loyalty and commitment players feel with the franchise.
Because if you're a player on the team and seeing the front office have trouble "taking care of" DeMarcus Lawrence, what are you supposed to expect when your contract is up?
Jason Garrett's most heralded skill is his ability to get his players to fight for him, but the front office could sabotage that ability if these negotiations don't go well.
Cowboys en Español: La Afortunada Llegada de Randall Cobb
Tras la partida del veterano Cole Beasley, los Dallas Cowboys tenían un hueco preocupante en la posición de receptor abierto. Incluso después de obtener a Amari Cooper la temporada pasada y el tener a un jugador joven y talentoso en Michael Gallup, el equipo tenía que hacer algo para reemplazar a Beasley como el receptor de slot en la ofensiva. Beasley fue increíble en su trabajo durante su carrera en Dallas, pero la administración nunca estuvo cerca de igualar las ofertas que recibió de los Buffalo Bills. Afortunadamente, ya encontraron el hombre para el trabajo.
A pesar de estar muy callados en la primera semana de agencia libre, los Cowboys empiezan a verse involucrados con varios jugadores disponibles. Su contratación más importante hasta el momento es sin duda la del ex WR de los Green Bay Packers, Randall Cobb.
Hace unos años, Cobb atrapó el balón que terminó el partido de playoffs entre los Packers y los Cowboys minutos después de que la recepción de Dez Bryant fuera revocada. En 2019, vestirá la estrella.
Si bien es difícil argumentar que en este momento Cobb es mejor jugador que Cole Beasley, el contrato que la administración le dio al nuevo integrante del equipo es muy razonable. El ex-Packer jugará bajo un contrato por un año y cinco millones de dólares. Lo que preocupa a muchos sobre Cobb es su salud, ya que en 2018 sólo jugó nueve partidos. Sin embargo, su carrera no ha estado plagada de lesiones como muchos lo asumen.
Cobb será un titular en esta ofensiva que utilizará su habilidad para ganar en rutas rápidas. Sus manos son muy confiables y le dará a Dak Prescott otra arma en el juego aéreo. Simple y sencillamente una muy buena contratación de los Dallas Cowboys.
¿Robert Quinn, Por Favor?
Esta semana se reportó que el defensive end Robert Quinn estaba de visita en The Star, las instalaciones de los Dallas Cowboys. El DE no es un agente libre, siendo que aún está bajo contrato con los Miami Dolphins. Sin embargo, ambos equipos están en discusiones para llevar a cabo un trade por el caza cabezas de 28 años.
Después de que Randy Gregory volviera a recibir una suspensión, DE apareció entra las necesidades más urgentes del equipo y si no logran atender dicha necesidad previo al NFL Draft, tendrán que utilizar uno de sus primeros picks para conseguir un jugador que juegue opuesto a DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn, quien había jugado la mayoría de su carrera con los Rams, aún es joven y productivo. En las últimas dos temporadas ha logrado conseguir 15 sacks. De conseguirlo, los Cowboys tendrían que trabajar en una extensión para él.
Con un año en su contrato actual, no debe de ser muy caro conseguir un trade por él. Me atrevería a decir que la compensación que los Dolphins buscan por Quinn debe de estar en el rango de una selección cuarta y quinta ronda.
Parece un movimiento probable, pero no es difícil imaginar a otro equipo estando interesado en el jugador. Por lo pronto, sabemos que Quinn disfrutó su tiempo con Rod Marinelli y con el equipo de los Cowboys esta semana. Habrá que esperar para saber su destino.
DL Kerry Hyder Helps Solidify A Re-Tooled Defensive Line
The Cowboys got off to a busy start to week two of free agency on Monday, and capped it off by signing defensive lineman Kerry Hyder to a one year deal.
The former Detroit Lion could be classified as a "one year wonder" of sorts, but when you look closer at his career arc, you see that Hyder can provide upside at multiple positions across the Cowboys' defensive front.
After having 8 sacks and 19 quarterback hits as a defensive end in 2016, Hyder missed all of 2017 with an achilles injury. Last season, under new head coach Matt Patricia, Hyder was moved out of position and forced to play as a nose tackle and 5-technique more often.
So, the last time Hyder was healthy and playing in the role in he will likely fill in Dallas, he was productive. Yes that was a couple of seasons ago but it makes Hyder worth the one year deal he received from the Cowboys.
What exactly is that role, though?
I see Hyder primarily as a rotational 3-technique for the Cowboys. At just 270 pounds Hyder isn't going to play over the center often, and won't be very useful as a 1-technique against the run. He's at his best when lining on the outside shade of an offensive lineman, where he can use his get-off and quickness to create pressure.
Kerry Hyder can also fill in at defensive end if needed, especially when the Cowboys go into a nickel package. Hyder is similar to Tyrone Crawford in his ability to move inside and out, but is a bit better of a pass rusher than Crawford when at his best.
Hyder is a high energy, motor, and character defensive lineman who will fit right in with a Rod Marinelli unit. If it all clicks for Hyder and he regains his 2016 form, the Cowboys will have stolen an impressive pass rushing defensive lineman who can win from multiple positions.
If Hyder is actually a "one year wonder" who is more of his 2018-self with the Cowboys despite being put in a better role to succeed, Dallas can move on rather quickly because he is only on a one year deal.
This is a smart signing by the Cowboys front office as they look to re-tool their defensive line, and avoid being pigeon-holed into over-drafting at a certain position this Spring.
New Cowboys WR Randall Cobb Announces His Signing With A Fantastic GIF
On Tuesday this week it became official the Cowboys would sign former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb to a one year deal worth an estimated $5 million. After his visit Monday morning, speculation around whether and when he would sign was swirling.
Cobb confirmed his intentions to join the Cowboys himself, and did so with some A+ GIF usage on Twitter.
In case you don't know, the GIF Cobb tweeted is Woody from Toy Story, emerging confidently and tipping his cap.
This was Cobb signaling that he his a Cowboy, and he appears excited to be joining America's Team. Cobb also received some social media love from his now former teammates in Green Bay, including wide receiver Davante Adams and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Aaron Rodgers had some parting words for new Cowboys WR Randall Cobb
Clearly Randall Cobb made an impact in Green Bay, both on and off the field. Let's hope he can replicate some of that in Dallas now that he has joined the Cowboys.
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