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Ten Free Agents Dallas Should Sign



Cowboys Blog - Ten Free Agents Dallas Should Sign 1

With free agency opening up on March 12th, I thought this would be the perfect time to look at who the Dallas Cowboys should be looking at. The major spots on this team that need to be addressed are wide receiver, defensive line, offensive line and the safety positions. These are the ten free agents I would consider signing if I was in the general manager’s position.

1. Danny Amendola
Some Cowboys fans will be familiar of Amendola, who signed with the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech. He was mainly a practice squad player until was signed off the squad by the Eagles. He does have issues with injuries but for the right price is worth a look with all of the issues Dallas seems to have with their wide receiver corp.

2. Donald Thomas
Thomas has spent his last two seasons as primarily a backup for the Patriots, however when their guard Logan Mankins went down with injury he saw playing time. Having spent time as guard and center, this makes perfect sense for Dallas. Ideally he could come in and compete for both positions and he wouldn’t break the bank as far as a contract.

3. Louis Vasquez
Vasquez is a strong guard who can maul the opposing defensive linemen. Dallas needs to add depth at the guard position to protect Tony Romo and open holes for DeMarco Murray. At the NFL combine, Vasquez benched 225 pounds 39 times. This is a better option than Livings or Bernadeu at this point.

4. Peyton Hillis
Hillis hasn’t impressed anyone since his one good season in Cleveland, however he is from Arkansas and we know Jerry loves his Razorbacks. This makes sense if Hillis is willing to move to the fullback position and to spell Murray. He is a big punishing back, which can catch out of the backfield. Dallas has been looking for a fullback with those qualities ever since Daryll Johnston left.

5. Aaron Curry
By all accounts Curry did not turn out to be the player the Seahawks thought they were getting when they drafted him number four overall in 2009. He ended up being traded to the Oakland Raiders and is now looking for a job. I think with proper coaching and giving him a chance to compete makes sense for this team in need of an outside linebacker.

6. Ernie Sims
By the way that Sims played for the injured Sean Lee and Bruce Carter; he deserves to be brought back on. He should be brought back if for no other reason than a security blanket for two linebackers with injury histories like Lee and Carter. If Dan Connor doesn’t take a pay cut, this is more likely to happen than if he stays.

7. Charles Woodson
There is no secret that Woodson is getting a little long in the tooth, but he still performs. With Gerald Sensabaugh getting cut and the fact that I am not sure Barry Church how his injury will recover, Woodson will bring playmaking and veteran leadership to the table. This would also give the type of safety you need in the Tampa 2 defense.

8. Kenny Phillips
I would add Phillips to the list mainly for the same reason as Woodson, his playmaking ability, not to mention he is cheaper than Ed Reed. Not to mention Reed may retire after winning the Super Bowl. There are injury concerns with Phillips, but with the unknown of Matt Johnson and the inabilities of Danny McCray he is worth the risk.

9. Ramses Barden
Due to having little production, Barden may also have a lower contract demand. In New York he never seemed to live up to the hype coming out of Cal-Poly, but he wasn’t going to be the guy with Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks commanding the wide out positions. Standing at 6’6” would bring a presence that the Cowboys need around the goal line.

10. Israel Idonije
Idonije is going to be 33 years old this season, but I believe he could make some plays at the defensive end position. Even with the franchise tag placed on Anthony Spencer, there is still no guarantee that he will return. What also would help bring Idonije here to Dallas is the fact that his defensive line coach, Rod Marinelli is here.

Patrick Conn is the founder and creator of Valley Ranch Outsiders. His work has been seen on, FanSided, Yahoo and Blue Star Times. He is an avid Cowboys fan and NFL Draft analyst. He currently hosts a podcast about the Dallas Cowboys.

Player News

Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson

Jess Haynie



Deonte Thompson

The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.

Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.

Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.

Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.

For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys: How “Position-Flex” Has Handcuffed The 2015 Draft Class

Kevin Brady



Byron Jones

Over the last few years the Dallas Cowboys have placed a high level of importance on "position flex." They've drafted Swiss-Army knife players which could be moved around to different positions on the field.

By drafting players like Chidobe Awuzie and Xavier Woods last year, as well as Byron Jones in 2015, the Cowboys have tried to find these versatile players who can be used in multiple ways.

While this seems great on paper, this strategy has handcuffed the majority of their 2015 Draft Class, and is a key reason why the Cowboys seem to be in such a tough spot.

Byron Jones

The Cowboys' first round pick in 2015, Byron Jones, quickly became a favorite of mine during his rookie season. Incredibly athletic, long, and skilled in coverage, Jones was able to be both a fantastic cover cornerback and a solid middle-of-the-field safety due to his range.

Due to both injuries to his teammates, and Jones' own versatility, the Cowboys coaching staff couldn't keep Jones in just one spot. Once they discovered how great he was in man coverage against tight ends, they became enamored with trying to play him in the box.

Once in the box, Jones' struggles as a run defender were highlighted, and both the organization and the fans soured on him quickly.

Now it is rumored that Byron Jones will be moving back to cornerback full time. And while I do hope this is the case, the fact that he is in year four, and the Cowboys haven't been able to find their first round pick a permanent home is a huge indictment on their ability to evaluate and develop talent.

Chaz Green

Okay, hear me out.

The former third round pick of the 2015 Draft was brought in to be the swing tackle for the Cowboys his rookie year. Mainly due to injuries, Green did not see the field for much of his first two seasons. When he did fill in for Tyron Smith at left tackle in 2016, however, Green was very effective.

Of course, Chaz Green's last appearance with the Cowboys was ugly, giving up a plethora of sacks against the Atlanta Falcons. But Dallas might've made their own bed with Green during the beginning of the 2017 season, when they attempted to move him to left guard full time.

Instead of getting the increased work at tackle, and continuing to work as the swing tackle for the team in case of injury, Dallas started Green at left guard early on in the year. He struggled trying to move positions, and looked even worse when trying to move back to tackle.

Once again, the position flex bit the Cowboys right in the backside.

La'el Collins

It's 2018 and we are still talking about what position to play La'el Collins on the offensive line. And that is solely on the coaching staff and front office, not Collins.

Collins was brought in as an undrafted free agent in 2015, but was widely regarded as a first round pick heading into that draft. Though he started at left tackle at LSU, Dallas shifted Collins inside to left guard in 2015. After taking over for Ronald Leary as the starter, Collins produced highlight blocks week after week.

Injuries shortened his 2016 campaign, but heading into 2017 the Cowboys decided to shift him back out to right tackle. Despite some early struggles, Collins progressed nicely throughout the year and became a solid starting right tackle. Plus, he has the upside to become one of the top right tackles in the league.

Instead, it is now being rumored the Cowboys might move him back to guard for 2018. And with that news, I continue to pull my hair out over the position-flex decisions this coaching staff and front office like to make.

If the Cowboys want to get the most out of each draft class, and effectively develop their talent, they need to let those players actually develop, rather than move them around each season. Hopefully they now understand this, and allow both Byron Jones and La'el Collins to reach their full potential.

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Player News

Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal

At long last, the Dallas Cowboys have their first free agent addition of this offseason. Having lost starters Jonathan Cooper and Anthony Hitchens at left guard and linebacker respectively, the team has added depth at LB with Joe Thomas signing a two-year deal.

The 2018 season will actually mark Joe Thomas' second stint with the Dallas Cowboys, as he was signed to their practice squad in 2015. The team that signed Thomas out of South Carolina State following the 2014 draft, the Green Bay Packers, added Thomas back to their active roster for the 2015 season.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have agreed to a 2-year deal with free agent LB Joe Thomas. He visited the Cowboys today. Thomas has played in 42 games over the last three seasons with the Packers. He had a career-high 70 tackles in 2016.

Thomas has spent the last three seasons starting eight games for the Packers, recording 70 tackles and an interception in 2016.

A contingency plan of Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith carrying the Cowboys for 16 games at LB requires adequate depth, which is exactly what the Cowboys are typically in the market for come free agency. Waiting longer than usual to make their first splash, the Cowboys absolutely need an addition like Thomas to perform better than last year's FA class.

Used in sub packages by the Packers while also playing special teams - where the Cowboys have lost core players in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber - Thomas will have a great chance to impress two new Dallas coaches in Ben Bloom and Keith O'Quinn.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Sign LB Joe Thomas to 2 Year Deal" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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