Writer's Blocks: Free Agency Spending Strategy & Division Schedule
\ This is an understatement, but you get to have some surreal experiences in this job.

There’s a relevant reason for saying that, so here’ Ziyaretçiler linkleri göremez. Kayıt olmak için buraya tıklayın.

s the story. When new players join this team, one of the perks of being internal media is that we get the first crack at them. Whether it’s free agency or the draft, we often get to hustle over to the locker room and conduct some first-look interviews.

One of my fondest memories from this job happened the week after the 2016 NFL Draft, when the rookies reported to Valley Ranch for the first time. Much of the excitement centered around No. 4 overall pick Ezekiel Elliott and the amazing story of Jaylon Smith, and understandably so.

It’s hard to imagine now, but there wasn’t a ton of demand for an interview with the Cowboys’ new third-string quarterback, Dak Prescott. That’s how I wound up chatting with him for five
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minutes and writing a story about it -- never even fathoming what was to come.

Alright, so why am I sharing that story? Well, it doesn’t always work out that way.

It was just last March that the Cowboys signed Nolan Carroll, Stephen Paea and Damontre’ Moore to free agent contracts. As usual, we all hustled over to the locker room to drum up some much-needed content for the free agency news cycle.

Not quite as magical, right? Those interviews live on, somewhere on the Internet, but Carroll, Paea and Moore are all former Cowboys -- and this team hasn’t even reached the halfway point of its season.

It’s an interesting business, and it leads to some surreal stories -- for good reasons and bad.

1. But ok, let’s get into that for a second.

The Cowboys released Moore on Tuesday afternoon so they could sign Mike Nugent as a substitute kicker while Dan Bailey recovers from a groin injury. Carroll was released earlier this season, and Paea unexpectedly retired due to a knee injury that’s been bothering him.

There’s no way around it -- that ain’t a good look for the
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Cowboys. Those were the three main signings the Cowboys made to offset the loss of guys like Terrell McClain, Brandon Carr and Barry Church. Plenty of people criticized them for not doing enough to offset those losses, and those people probably feel pretty smart in retrospect.

The vast majority of the guys the Cowboys added after last year’s 13-3 campaign are not doing a lot to help this team in 2017. Jonathan Cooper and Jourdan Lewis are starting and playing well, to be fair. But your biggest free agency acquisitions aren’t on the team, and the majority of your draft picks are role players, at best.

The Cowboys came agonizingly close to their first NFC Championship Game appearance in 20 years back in January. If you want to argue that they didn’t “strike while the iron is hot,” so to speak, in trying to capitalize on that momentum, then you have all the ammunition you need.

2. Having said all of that, here’s why I don’t care about that -- and why I doubt this front office cares, either.

I’m writing about the loss of Carroll, Paea and Moore because it was a bad look for the Cowboys to lose them. But in the results-based industry of pro football, who cares about look? The reality is that parting ways with those guys doesn’t hurt the Cowboys at all -- and that’s exactly why they use the strategy they do.

Stephen Jones has said 10 million times that he doesn’t like a href="Ziyaretçiler linkleri göremez. Kayıt olmak için buraya tıklayın.

free agency because you have to pay decent players like good ones, and you have to pay good players like great ones. Those are the demands of the open market.

By bargain hunting in free agency, the Cowboys instead preferred to buy some insurance. They insured their cornerback spot, on the off chance they weren’t able to get help in the draft. They added depth along the defensive line, given that it’s been a weakness for years.

In the five years since they signed Brandon Carr to a $50 million deal, the Cowboys quite simply haven’t used free agency as a way to immediately upgrade their team. It’s more like a bottle of Fix-a-Flat, to help them get home if things go south.

3. It might be disheartening when these free agency moves don’t pan out, but you can’t exactly argue that it’s hurting this team.

Carroll was immediately upstaged by the rookies that were drafted to replace him -- Jourdan Lewis, specifically. Taco Charlton hasn’t lit the world on fire, but the Cowboys’ pass rush has progressed to the point that the defense has posted 21 sacks without a contribution from Moore.

Paea’s departure is a bit different, and it left them in a bit of a bind. But between the emergence of Maliek Collins and David Irving, as well as the additions of Brian Price and Richard Ash, it’s hardly a hole that is going to break the defense this season.

4. And honestly, therein lies my main point.

The Cowboys would obviously prefer for their free agent signings to make a bigger impact on the field. But they lost all three of them this year, and it’s not going to determine their fortunes thi


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