5 Free Agent Offensive Lineman Dallas Cowboys Should Target
5 O-Linemen for Dallas Cowboys to Pursue in the Off-season
The Dallas Cowboys' offensive line is a mess. It's been a mess for a while and team owner and general manager Jerry Jones finally "did something" about it during the 2011 NFL off-season, but it wasn't exactly helpful. Jones went out and spent $20 million on two free agents who haven't done squat in their NFL careers. Naturally, not many Cowboys fans had heard of them, but they rejoiced simply because Jones actually did something right. However, that rejoicing is now right back to the typical cries for his head.
After re-signing under-achieving right tackle Doug Free and then brining in no-names Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau, the Cowboys are right back at square one with an offensive line that's steadily increasing Tony Romo's chance of developing arthritis after he retires. He's getting clocked every game and the Cowboys' latest game against the Cleveland Browns was a perfect example as Romo was sacked seven times.
Jones is the worst general manager in the NFL, so naturally his eye for talent isn't half of what most other general managers' are. He would be wise to let someone else tell him who to sign this off-season, but he won't. That Texas-sized ego of his coupled with his lack of football brains will doom the Cowboys until he passes away and someone who actually knows what they're doing takes over. But just for the fun of it, we'll go ahead and point out the top five offensive lineman who will be available for the Cowboys to at least pursue in the upcoming off-season.
Andy Levitre has been one heck of a value for the Buffalo Bills throughout the course of his rookie deal, which will expire at the end of the 2012 NFL season. He'll be looking for a team to pay him some attention and that's exactly what Dallas should do, but keep in mind that's typically different than what Dallas actually does.
Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert's one-year tender is up at age 28 and he'll be a free agent. Coming off a nice season with a $2.7 million salary, Albert is a perfect candidate for a team like the Cowboys, who desperately need help at tackle. Not only would Albert allow put pressure on Free to perform, but he'd provide Romo with some peace of mind, which might translate into more wins for Dallas.
At 33, New York Jets offensive guard Brandon Moore isn't getting any younger, but he's got plenty of gas left in the tank to help a team like the Cowboys get back into Super Bowl contention. He's not one a super-talented or athletic guard, but he's consistent, which is something for which Dallas is starving at any position. The best part about Moore is he'll be a lot cheaper than other big-name offensive lineman on the market; his contract that's about to expire was a four-year, $16 million deal and that was signed before he turned 30.
If this guy can protect Peyton Manning as well as he has in 2012, then the Cowboys should throw as much money Ryan Clady's way as he wants. He reportedly turned down a five-year, $50 million deal before the season, so he clearly wants a huge payday. At 26 and his rookie deal coming to an end, the Denver Broncos obviously want to keep him, but he'll come to Dallas if the price is right.
If there's any offensive lineman for which the Cowboys should overpay, it's Jake Long. The former No. 1 overall pick has more than lived up to the hype as arguably the best offensive lineman in the NFL. You better believe that would make the lives of Romo and the Cowboys' running backs easier. It's very unlikely that Long will end up in Dallas, but he's undoubtedly the top option for Jones to sign this off-season.