Free Agency is underway and the Cowboys are likely going to stay in the wait and see role that they usually spend their time in every free agency period. But there is a scenario that I believe can upgrade the Cowboys roster that involves little money used in free agency. The Cowboys currently have roughly 8.5 million dollars in cap space after the restructure of Sean Lee’s contract. That is not a great spot to be in but they can make a couple of decent moves on that deal.



Brandon Carr – With both Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr free agents one of the two will have to come back. Carr is likely the cheaper option and the more reliable option. I could see the Cowboys offering Carr a one or two year deal worth two to three million dollars. Signing Carr back gives the Cowboys a starting cornerback lineup to start the season with before even heading into the draft.

Kellen Moore – This isn’t a sexy signing but it is one that fills a hole in the Cowboys roster. Moore is very smart football player that does’t possess the physical tools to be much more than a backup in the NFL. Perfect spot for a Quarterback that will cost little to nothing that can be a great mentor for your second year QB.

J.J. Wilcox – I know I know, some people would rather have me at Safety rather than Wilcox but the truth is J.J. was one of best role players the Cowboys had on their defense last season. Wilcox fixed his sloppy tackling problem and the horrendous angles he used to use on ball carriers in open space, but after cleaning up his game in his fourth year the Cowboys could use the experience at the safety position. With the signing of Wilcox it leaves Dallas with Jeff Heath (the teams interception leader), second year player Kavon Frazier, and starting Free Safety Byron Jones.

Darren McFadden – McFadden also is not a sexy signing but with Ezekiel Elliott and Alfred Morris the only backs currently on the roster they must sign a veteran back. While McFadden doesn’t do anything great, he does almost everything well. McFadden can run and catch the ball out of the backfield and is a guy you can trust to protect your QB in the backfield. McFadden is another guy who isn’t going to make you break the bank. Bringing Darren back on a short term team friendly deal makes to much sense for both parties.


Missed The Cut

Terrell McClain – Reason? – Money.

Jack Crawford – Reason? Need more than just a body.

Morris Claiborne – Reason? Inability to stay healthy and money.

Barry Church – Reason? Money.

Ron Leary – Reason? Money.

Terrance Williams – Reason? Money.

Brice Butler – Inconsistency at the position

Barry Church

Roster Cuts

Tony Romo
– Reason? – Size of contract, relationship with ownership that wants the best for their former starter, to expensive to be backup. Cutting Romo saves the Cowboys around 5.1 million dollars.

Alfred Morris – Reason? Morris was a great player for Washington in his prime but after a disappointing season as the back up to Zeke, the Cowboy should do  Alfred and themselves a favor by moving on from Morris. Cutting Morris saves the Cowboys a little more than 1 million dollars.


Free Agency Signings

Demarcus Ware – A familiar face that Dallas has missed since his departure. Ware with his age and injury history will likely not draw as much interest or money as he did when he initially left Dallas. With Ware not having to many years left in him coming back to the team he started his Hall of Fame career at on a one year 2 million dollar deal.

Signing the four guys back from their 2016 season roster and adding Ware would put them right at their cap limit going into the draft. Dallas will likely have a little spare change left to maybe throw at a veteran Linebacker or Offensive Lineman.

Going into the draft in this scenario makes the defensive line not AS MUCH of a need. You have your starting left end in Demarcus Lawrence and your starting right end in Demarcus Ware. Inside you have both Malik Collins and Cedric Thornton as your starting defensive tackles. In this scenario you will also have David Irving and Tyrone Crawford as your hybrid backups. This is where both players versatility really helps you out on game-days. Both Irving and Crawford can back up both the left end position and the defensive tackle position. That leaves Benson Mayowa and Charles Tapper at your back ups at right end. With your starting front seven looking like Demarcus Ware, Maliek Collins, Thornton, Lawrence as your defensive line and the starting linebackers looking like Sean Lee, Jaylon Smith, and Damien Wilson. The Dallas secondary is semi set with Brandon Carr, Orlando Scandrick, and Anthony Brown as your starting Cornerbacks with Byron Jones as your starting Free Safety and J.J. Wilcox penciled in as your starting Strong Safety. Let’s Draft!

In the first round the Cowboys need to address the Wide Receiver position with Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley, Lucky Whitehead, and Andy Jones looking to be the only receivers on the active roster. Luckily for the Cowboys the new 40 yard dash record holder should be hanging on by a thread at their selection. The Cowboys select former Washington Huskie John Ross III with the 28th pick in the draft. Ross is a speed demon that can run impressive routes to match with that record setting speed. Ross will fit in great as a “Z” receiver in Dallas fitting the mold the Cowboys usually like in their number #2 guy.

With Cornerback looking like the biggest need in the second round the Cowboys grab a really good player here with former UCLA Bruin Fabian Moreau. Moreau lasting to the 56th overall pick would be a dream come true for the Cowboys but I think its possible. When you have a CB class like this years instead of all the talent going off the board at once sometimes you’ll have great corners fall to the second or third rounds, the reason being is when teams see they have a cornerback class with this much depth they seem to wait and pick a player that’s just as good as one of the “top dogs” with their second or third pick. With guys like Marshon Lattimore, Jalen Tabor, Tre White, and Sidney Jones getting a lot of the attention guys like Fabian Moreau, Gareon Conley , Chidobe Awuzie, and Kevin King have a chance to fall.

With your starting offense pretty much set and the defense getting their this third round selection is important. Dallas grabs underrated Defensive End Joe Mathis out of Washington with their third round selection. Mathis has all the tools to be able to be a very productive player in the NFL. Mathis can play the run well while setting a very physical edge which he can also win with speed. Mathis uses his hands well to punch and swipe blockers hands in order to get to the QB. Pairing an inexperienced but really talented pass rusher with Demarcus Ware to mentor in his final year in the league could work wonders for the future of the Cowboys rushmen.

With both the offense and defense looking a lot stronger now in my opinion the Cowboys take their yearly “redshirt” player in round four with Linebacker Kendell Beckwith out of LSU. Beckwith is a really intriguing player three down player at LSU and looks to be just that in the NFL. Beckwith is a quick footed tackling machine that seems to always be around the ball. A player with his ability shouldn’t be available in the fourth round but after tearing his ACL just a few months ago the former Tiger standout may miss at least the majority of his rookie season.


Entering the sixth round you start to look at guys who have traits that could potentially be developed into a good player. In the sixth round Dallas can add just that in Offensive Tackle Aviante Collins out of TCU. Collins blew up the combine posting the best 40 time out of all the offensive linemen. Collins at 6-4, 295 pounds put up 34 reps on the bench press (225lbs) and ran a eye popping 4.81 40 yard dash. Collins doesn’t have the ideal body for a Tackle but with how explosive he looked at the Combine he is certainly intriguing this late in the Draft.

Dallas has two seventh round picks in this years draft, both of them will be spent on offense. Chad Kelley former Ole Miss Quarterback will be the first of the two picks. Kelly is a really intriguing player. Kelly is a great athlete with an absolute cannon for an arm. Kelly knows how to make plays with his feet and has the ideal size you look for in a pocket passer. Kelly has his fair share of off the field issues and makes plenty of questionable decisions but has the arm talent and athleticism to make the late round pick worth it for a team that struck gold with their “project” quarterback in last years draft.

With the Cowboys final draft pick they will spend it on a Running Back. Teriyon Gipson out of New Mexico is the selection. Gipson fits the Lance Dunbar role perfectly and that is a role that will need to be filled with Dunbar’s departure. Gipson is lighting in a bottle that will run around you, past you, and even through you for a guy that is only 5’9 190 pounds. Gipson has smooth hands out of the backfield and can fit in on special teams to as a returner or a gunner.


After it’s all said and done if this scenario that I laid out for you goes as planned the Cowboys 53 man roster could look a little something like this:

  1. Dak Prescott
  2. Kellen Moore
  3. Chad Kelly
  4. Ezekiel Elliott
  5. Darren McFadden
  6. Teriyon Gipson
  7. Keith Smith
  8. Dez Bryant
  9. Cole Beasley
  10. John Ross III
  11. Lucky Whitehead
  12. Andy Jones
  13. Jason Witten
  14. James Hanna
  15. Geoff Swaim
  16. Tyron Smith
  17. La’el Collins
  18. Travis Fredrick
  19. Zack Martin
  20. Doug Free
  21. Chaz Greeb
  22. Joe Looney
  23. Emmett Cleary
  24. Demarcus Ware
  25. Demarcus Lawrence
  26. Malik Collins
  27. Cedric Thornton
  28. Benson Mayowa
  29. Charles Tapper
  30. Tyrone Crawford
  31. David Irving
  32. Joe Mathis
  33. Sean Lee
  34. Jaylon Smith
  35. Damien Wilson
  36. Mark Nzeocha
  37. Anthony Hitchens
  38. Kyle Wilber
  39. Brandon Carr
  40. Orlando Scandrick
  41. Anthony Brown
  42. Fabian Moreau
  43. Byron Jones
  44. Jeff Heath
  45. Kavon Frazier
  46. J.J. Wilcox
  47. Chris Jones
  48. Dan Bailey
  49. L.P Ladouceur
  50. Aviante Collins
  51. Leon McFadden
  52. Kendell Beckwith
  53. Richard Ash


No one can see into the future, but this plan allows them to stay within their budget in free agency and really maximize the “best player available” situation when entering the draft. Comments welcomed!

Got a Lot to Say From RVA – Follow me on Twitter- @connorx147

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  1. If Dallas gets Kelly in the 6th round , you can kiss Kellen Moore goodbye. Kelly is a supreme competitor and darn good athlete. He was one of two qb’s not to be intimidated by the Bama defense.

    Beckwith is superb moving forward and recognizing plays. He struggles going backwards. He’s bigger than any of the current Dallas ilb’s. Also when Dave Aranda decides to enter the NFL , it would behoove Dallas to hire him. He will be the next wunderkind at dc in the NFL.

    John Ross absolutely broke the ankles of Adoree Jackson when Washington played USC. Jackson is one of the greatest talents I’ve seen play football. I would be shocked if Ross is there for us.

  2. We will have about 9 unrestricted FA and 4 Restricted FA in 2018 and even less in 2019. Also, most of the FA in those two years will be replaceable. The only regrettable contract now is Tyronne Crawford’s. Progress!

  3. So much for my Brandon Marshal wish. He signed for only 6 mil per year.

    He’s gonna be a matchup problem for our secondary. Obj and Marshall. Hope they don’t sign AP as well.

    • Mine as well…………….but Brice (higher ceiling than Williams, but needs to catch the ball in the end zone) was signed today to a one year deal, which likely means TWIll is gone for sure; people are talking up Andy Jones, but who knows if he can actually play?….cannot see DWare coming back at all, too injured as his time in Denver proved…..doubtful that Ross lasts until the Dallas pick, and we need HELP ON DEFENSE, the offense is set well enough, we can score, we just cannot stop top flight QBs from hurting us………..we need playmakers ON Defense, we have but maybe one and he has had major injury history

      • Okay, great idea. I’m right there with you. But you have 8.5 Million dollars (likely around 7M after Butler deal) and a 28th overal pick. Who you taking with 7 Million and a 28th overall pick?

        • BPA on defense, whether a corner, d-lineman, or even a LB; this team is way unbalanced as to $$$ allocated to offense versus defense….. even with Romo’s impending release… wonder we lose tight games to top tier offenses ………. we probably should have lost to the Lions in the first round 2014 had that terrible call gone their way…PI on Hitchens was obvious

          • Agree!!
            Talented players are there for the taking in lower rounds, but one needs some luck and truly efficient talent evaluators…… much better since Jerry gave up that portion of his GM duties…. we wanted Bosa, Chargers foil FO’s beat laid plans and we end up with a potential HOF RB; then we try to trade for 2 QBs and are denied by others, and Dak falls onto their laps….. DIVINE INTERVENTION If u ask me‼‼

  4. DWare cannot be the starting RDE. He is maybe a 10-15 snap guy, and even then he’s been hurt a lot. LB’s are not settled, it is far from a certainty that Jaylon can play. John Ross? A complementary player, really fast, but little, injured with his one 40. We have needs greater than a ridiculously fast WR in the first round.

    • Just thinking of the way the Cowboys rotate their DL I have Ware as the starter but you’re right he’s rushing on money downs and the 4th quarter. You really should not spend a high pick on a LB especially if you add a veteran in FA. Smith, Lee, Wilson, Nzeocha, Hitchens + veteran is crowded already. This first round is going to be tricky. If DE is wiped out and your left staring @ CB which you can address later for just as good talent you may spend that pick on a true #2. John Ross is much more than a speed threat. He’s that but wins underneath, over the middle, and deep a REALLY good route runner which is something the Cowboys don’t have

      • We lost to GB in ’14 and ’16 because we could not get a stop, not because we couldn’t move the ball or score. We need playmakers on defense. That is my concern on Ross in the first round, although I suspect he will be gone by 28.

      • Yes, we need defense, but I would be on board with Ross in the 1st round. I didn’t think that until I watched him play. He could be Antonio Brown with more speed. I doubt he makes it past pick 20, but if he falls, Jerry doesn’t mind taking risks on players with elite skills and a history of injuries.

        I’d really be on board with the corner in round 2, but after listening to Broaddus say he is a late first round talent, we will be lucky to have a shot at him in the 2nd. I’d also roll the dice on Kelly if he makes it to the seventh round. If he acts up, you can cut him and you haven’t lost much while giving the other players an example of what happens when you don’t act like a professional.