In Free Agency, the Cowboys are Cornered
Posted by Rafael
...Carl Nicks -- He wants to be the NFL's highest paid guard, which will push his price tag in the $9 million average range. He would certainly upgrade the offensive line. He's only 26 and could combine with Tyron Smith to give Dallas a power left side. Can the Cowboys squeeze a cornerback's deal, and Nicks' deal under their cap limit, and still have money for the low-ticket guys, a backup QB and the draftees?
I think they can, but the number of blue-chip free agents is small and the number of teams with tens of millions in cap space is large. How much is Dallas willing to spend to land Nicks? He may get a 10 or 11 million-a- year deal, maybe more.
Nicks is another player who will sign quickly. Free agency opens next Tuesday afternoon. He'll probably have a new team within a day or two.
Chris Myers, Scott Wells or Dan Koppen
Might the Cowboys pass on Nicks' youth and go for an older, but cheaper center? Myers, Wells and Koppen offer quality center play, and good centers play well into their 30s. Look at Matt Birk and Jeff Saturday for further proof. How long a deal would these players want and how much money would they demand? The Texans and Packers have expressed interest in Myers, so Dallas would be locked in at least a three-team battle if he's their target.
If the Cowboys don't believe that either Bill Nagy or Kevin Kowalski can outplay Phil Costa, they might also consider Dan Koppen. He was New England's starter for eight seasons. Koppen broke an ankle in the Pats' 2011 season opener and missed the rest of the year. He's a scrapper in the Myers, Wells mold -- 6'2'', 296. He's very effective at anchoring a pass pocket, something Costa could not do for Tony Romo last year.
Mario Williams -- It's fun to project how Williams would fit into Dallas' scheme, but circumstances have worked against the Cowboys. No other young, quality pass rusher escaped the tag, meaning Williams will benefit from a bidding war which could include teams like Tampa Bay, which has more than twice the Cowboys' cap space.
I don't doubt Jerry's and Stephen Jones' creativity, but I think they're outgunned here. If they sign a corner, and I believe they'll try very hard to do so, I don't see a Williams deal in addition...
There's no right way to do the wrong thing.
To compete for the playoffs, Dallas has to improve here: Only four sacks against Eli Manning over the past six games!