Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Offseason Thoughts

It is sounding more and more like the Cowboys are going to put the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer. I'm not thrilled by the idea of paying Spencer $8.8 million for a season but I do support the move if it means the Cowboys are planning to work out a longer deal for a much lower cap hit. Like I've said before, I think Spencer is a solid player, but I don't think he is worth $8.8 million for a season.

There are a lot of rumors flying that the Cowboys will be going after Brandon Carr when free agency opens up. Carr looks like a good player who could step in for Newman at cornerback and allow Orlando Scandrick to remain playing his slot role where he has been over the last few years. I like the idea as long as the Cowboys don't overpay for Carr. He is only 25 and the Cowboys might be able to lock him up for several years at a reasonable price. If the asking price is too high then the Cowboys would be better off going after one of the big name free agents.

It is sounding more and more like this will be a defense focused draft for the Cowboys. Stephen Jones basically said what many people have come to realize. The Cowboys just don't have enough talent on defense. And there are just too many holes on the defensive side of the ball to think that all of the problems can be fixed in free agency. Signing a bunch of high price free agents usually doesn't work out in the long run anyway. Hopefully the Cowboys can hit on two or three guys in the draft that can make an immediate impact on the defensive side of the ball this season.

The Cowboys are in the market for a veteran free agent quarterback. That is pretty obvious with only Stephen McGee on the roster as a viable backup to Tony Romo. Just like a lot of positions there are a lot of players the Cowboys would be interested in but the price has to be right. I'd like to see the Cowboys bring in solid veteran with starting experience like Kyle Orton or Jason Campbell. The Cowboys were interested in Orton last season so I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him end up on the team next season.

I'm torn on the decision that needs to be made with Bradie James. On one hand, the Cowboys need to move on and allow Sean Lee to step into a leadership role on the defense. Brooking should be gone without a doubt, but cutting James would leave the Cowboys with Sean Lee and Bruce Carter who would enter next season as a starter with exactly zero career starts and very little meaningful playing time at the NFL level. I'd like to see a veteran backup behind those two. And if Bradie James is willing to let Lee take over the defense and be a spot player I wouldn't mind seeing him back on the team next season if he'll rework his contract.

I'm ready to move on from Abe Elam. He proved last season that he isn't an impact player. I'd rather see Barry Church get a shot or even find a mid-round draft pick at safety with starting potential. The Cowboys need someone who will be around the ball and Elam proved he just isn't that type of player.

Doug Free and Tyron Smith will switch sides next season on the offensive line. It was pretty easy to see this move coming and it definitely appears that Free is better as a right tackle. Now the Cowboys need to fix the middle of the line.

Free agency will be kicking off soon and I can't wait. The Cowboys have a lot of work to do and I'm excited to see how the team will be built for next season. We are sure to see several of the overpaid, aging veterans cut loose but there are a lot of unknowns about the roster right now. My favorite part about this point in the offseason is that everything seems possible for next year. The Cowboys have a lot of work to do but it isn't impossible that they can be a contender next season if they play their cards right this offseason.


  1. Think back to Greg Ellis. He was never really a dominant player, but he was solid more often than not. I see Anthony Spencer as being the same type of player for us now, maybe a little better. And as far as Brandon Carr goes, I'm perplexed. The Cowboys paid Orlando Scandrick starter money, and have a big decision to make on Mike Jenkins next year, they obviously can't afford to pay 3 corners starting money. Kansas City has over 60 million in cap room to spare, much more than the Cowboys, so why aren't they trying to lock this guy up? I would be leery at best if I were the Cowboys front office. I'm not saying he wouldn't be an immediate upgrade over Newman right now, but I would be cautious of over-paying for a middle of the line corner. As for Bradie James, I couldn't agree more. I have been saying the same thing since the season ended, and I really think James would take more of a mentoring role for Lee and Carter for the simple reason that he wants to retire a Cowboy. Now Elam is a different situation. He didn't give up many big plays, but then again he didn't make too many of his own. If the found someone in-house that was an upgrade, such as Barry Church, then let him go. If not, give him another one year deal to help the younger guys get more time to learn. When I learned that Free and Smith were switching sides, I was immediately excited. If we can upgrade at least one guard position, I think Romo can have ANOTHER career year. GO COWBOYS!!!

  2. Have to say that opinions on Spencer fall everywhere. Personally, I see him as the right fit for what he is asked to do. Sure I would like to see more sacks but most forget, pressure from those front three is what ultimately lead to more sacks. It has happened and probably won't as long as the Cowboys insist on Ratliff being the NT. I love Ratliff but he belongs at DE and someone like a Soliai in FA or Poe in the draft need to be the NT. Concerning Scandrick and whether to sign Carr or not. Just look at the NFL today, you must have three or four good corners. The days on two good ones is in the past.
    For me the offseason would be a success if in free agency we sing Brandon Carr CB and Tyvon Branch SS, and if possible a decent OG if we could fit it under the cap. We also need to sign Spencer to a multi-year deal and then look to find his replacement in the draft.
    In the draft, if we sign Carr, Branch, Spencer, Robinson and Fiammetta, I think at #14 you take the BPA be it DeCastro, Poe or Kirkpatrick.