It’s offseason grading time.
We may still be in the midst of the offseason, and still do have the biggest player acquisition event to go, but it’s time to grade some free agency moves.
Bleacher Report released their consensus expert grades for each team’s free agency moves this week, with the Cowboys earning mixed reviews. Getting Dak Prescott extended earned them some slack, but BR was far from impressed with the rest of America’s Team’s signings.
“Dallas misplayed the Prescott saga—and paid the price…But it was still a signing that had to be made. Now the issue is yet another big contract on the books, which means that Dallas has to hit on low-cost signings like Neal to stay competitive in the NFC. An offensive line that struggled in 2020 is also essentially untouched—there’s work to do in the draft.”
Overall the Cowboys earned a consensus grade of a C+, passing mostly because they were able to extend Prescott, but earning lower grades for their other signings. Most notably, the Cowboys added safeties Keanu Neal and Damontae Kazee in an effort to nearly completely turn over the position from last year.
Will Kazee be a better option than Xavier Woods was last season? Will Keanu Neal play with Donovan Wilson or will he take away from his snap count? We can’t be sure, but there’s no doubt that change was severely needed at the position.
The Cowboys also added defensive lineman Tarell Basham, which Bleacher Report named their worst move of all of free agency. I disagree with this assessment of Basham, who I believe will provide much needed depth as a rotational piece across the defensive line.
One signing they did not discuss was offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe. The veteran swing tackle should push the young Brandon Knight and Terence Steele during camp, providing strong competition at a position of need.
The Cowboys had awful injury luck across the offensive line last season, and adding Nsekhe helps to provide an insurance policy behind their starting five.
Overall, a C+ feels like a fair assessment of the Cowboys free agency. They didn’t break the bank on any new additions, or add any big names to their defense. But they did add some solid players at positions of need to help give them flexibility in the middle rounds of the draft.
Oh and most importantly, they locked up quarterback Dak Prescott. We can’t forget that.