The Dallas Cowboys slept through 2017 free agency and got a pass after 13 wins. No credit remains after missing the playoffs this year.
After winning the division and securing the top seed in the NFC in 2016, Dallas Cowboys fans were subdued as their team got fleeced in free agency.
The prevailing hope was the 2017 NFL draft would cure all ails. After all Dallas was only a 3rd and 20 stop away from overtime in the NFC Divisional round.
On paper the draft seemed to admirably address most free agency losses. But rookies are rookies, and injury setbacks are part of the process.
Rookie development came along slowly for all three top draft picks. Plus multiple suspensions and in-season injuries to stars crushed continuity.
The key losses and inept attempts at replacements in free agency guaranteed doom for a squad already dealing with other issues.
Dallas now is signaling they’ll simply try to re-sign their own key free agents (unlike last year) and once again rely on the draft to spark a title chase.
I would hope most fans agree with me in saying…not good enough.
SIGNING THEIR OWN IS A GREAT START
Most fans clearly want to bring back Anthony Hitchens (LB) and Jonathan Cooper (OG) at a reasonable price. Though either or both could move out of range.
DeMarcus Lawrence (DE) must be retained with a franchise tag or extension. David Irving (DT) must receive a high restricted free agent offer to stay put.
Even with re-signing those key players, there’s still much more needed to field a team capable of making a serious title run.
A competent swing tackle, versatile linebacker, physical safety, and new receiving threat are all must-haves to compete at the top level.
Each of these guys must be capable of starting games next year and playing at a high level. The draft will help, but it won’t fill all those needs.
Signing their own and adding more rookies is simply not good enough to show serious commitment to chasing another Super Bowl.
It’s time for the Cowboys to reward fans for staying loyal during all the avoidable nonsense endured last season.
STARS WOULD ALIGN WITH EARL
Instant impact free agents aren’t cheap and Dallas will already have to spend a hefty sum to resign their own top free agents.
Yet there is one safety who wants to be a Cowboy as bad as the they need him.
Signing Seattle safety Earl Thomas would be a lightning rod for the fan base and reignite the dimming fire overnight.
The Orange, TX native and former Texas Longhorn has publicly announced his desire to play for the Cowboys before his career ends.
It’s doubtful Thomas will be released before the final year of his contract in 2018. Though his cap hit will cost the Seahawks $10.4 million next season.
But if it happened he’d surely be flexible with price to join his favorite childhood team.
Thomas is as loyal as they come. He even turned down a draft day invite to watch it with his mom and pastor at their hometown church.
It’s no surprise he later clarified “come get me” comments to include whenever the Seahawks are done with him. As said he is loyal and still under contract.
It’s a long shot, but Seattle may go younger on defense and release Thomas to save $8.5 million. If so, the Cowboys would be the only ones preventing his arrival.
I’m not sure fans could stomach another inept free agency flop of that magnitude.