Well it’s been a fairly busy day with our Free Agents. Only one of the moves comes as a bit of a surprise. Lets start with Mo Claiborne who signed on with the NY Jets, as the replacement for Revis Island in the Meadowlands. His departure was expected as he needed a fresh start and we need a player for more than 8 games a season.. Mo played well last season in limited duty as he again was suffering with injuries and again limited game day rosters. That has been the story of his career and he’ll be looked upon as one not meeting expectations, which can’t be denied. Sadly he was always fighting devastating injuries. No terms are yet available on his deal. I’m expecting a one year deal or a two year with escape language for the Jets to protect themselves if he can’t lace em up at least 14 – 16 games this year.
The one that surprised me a little is Brandon Carr. Thought the Boys wanted to bring him back, but the price wasn’t right for them. I was never happy from the start with his signing for that 50M deal over 5 years. It was the going rate that year, not his fault & yet more power to him, but the level of desperation at that position forced the hand of the Cowboys. Always saw him as an average CB which isn’t bad, just not great. Finally last year after switching sides, he had a very solid season. A marked improvement. While ripping the guy for 4 unproductive years, I tip my cap when he played as solidly as he did. The switch helped him tremendously moving to the right side and appeared even his confidence was better over there. In looking at his new 4 year deal with the Ravens, it has all the makings of a 2 year deal at 12M. That would have been too high a number for me to sign on in bringing him back. If it were 4M, I could have lived with it again, but 6M, I’d pass too. Mind you the GM doesn’t reach out for my approval on deals. Wanted to make that clear! If they were looking to sign either Mo or Carr, I’d have gone with Carr who just laces em up every single Sunday! But I thank them both for their service. Carr for being a hard worker & incredibly reliable player to dress on Sundays and Mo, in particular for fighting and rebounding from several serious injuries. Best to both!
I’m fine in moving on and grabbing two new CB’s in the draft. Jerry, if you can hear me, two CB’s is what I want for Easter! Its a “Deep Draft at Corner” is what I’m hearing via Bryan Broaddus and Dane Brugler from the Draft Show on the Cowboys website. If you’ve not listened to their show also with Dave Helman then, you’re short changing yourself. Catch them every Thursday now and watch or listen to all their shows on the website. These guys provide quality information regarding hundreds of players entering the draft. They are outstanding, but more on them in a post about their work at a future time.
Bryan last week did one of his standard tape reviews on all new incoming players. Regarding, Nolan Carroll, he felt that Carroll vs Carr may be an actual upgrade. A little more power and physicality with WR’s as well as being far better than Carr at carrying a WR across the field. That was his take on the Carroll. The inability to carry a WR was a major problem for Carr during his years in Dallas. I did watch Carroll’s games against Dallas and he did fine against Dez for the most part, other than one of those Dez highlight receptions. In the last game of the year, I didn’t feel Carroll held up that well. Romo worked him over pretty good. The TD pass & route by Williams looked as though they were toying with Carroll. I thought they caught a rookie on him at first, but watching the replay in slow motion, it was obvious that they had Carroll in a no win situation. No help on the island forced him to bite on the first move that was sold beautifully by Williams, from there it was pitch and catch. Bryan’s take on Carroll was that he, like Carr, like Deion, make business decisions when it come to tacking. Only if absolutely necessary! I don’t fault them, as that was the same way I played free safety, light years ago …….
Lance Dunbar signed on with the Rams on a 1 year deal. It only makes sense for him to go somewhere where he may actually get snaps. He had two problems in Dallas the last five years. First he couldn’t stay healthy and playing behind Demarco & Zeke, he couldn’t get on the field often. When he did get opportunities he was pretty effective out of the backfield. Teams started attacking him on 3rd down and blitzing and forcing him to stay in to block. That nullified the reason he was on the field. Once that became obvious to coordinators it made him far less effective. He was a willing blocker but he was light in the wallet and was subject to getting blown up. I don’t view this as a serious loss. Its possible that we have a serious upgrade at his spot in that some guy, wearing #21 would be on the field for those 3rd down snaps instead. To me, #21 was > #25. Call it new math!
The last move of the day was the anticipate resigning of Darren McFadden. Its a move I’m good with in that Darren can be a capable lead back if needed and if they do as they did last year, they’d give Zeke a possession off and McFadden can handle that pretty well. He’s solid in pass protection and is a good receiver out of the backfield, so his versatility can handle whatever we need of him. Nice player, but we didn’t improve. The loss of Darius Jackson still bothers me, but thats a topic for another day. It’s on my list!
I wish good health for Mo and maybe he can come close to reaching his potential. Carr, model citizen and great advocate for several causes. Dallas loses a wonderful guy who loved giving back. Yet, with both losses, I’m hopeful we can start new with two new drafted CB’s who can be rock solid guys on the back end fairly quickly.
Through one week, I’d say we’re fighting to replace players lost and come out even. Don’t know that we’re there yet, but it might be close. Goal is to improve thats hard when you had 21 guys hit free agency. Replacing good players isn’t easy with limited cap room. Draft is crucial yet depth in the draft at corner and safety is significant and we need to pluck a few good ones from the pool. Demontre Moore is a player that can shift the scales on how we did this year in the free agent period. I still can’t see Paea as the equal or superior player to McClain. Just don’t want a repeat of #96 from a few years ago, up front! That was a period of time, where I knew our D Line was handicapped with a below average player in a starting slot.