5 Free Agents the Dallas Cowboys Should Re-sign This Offseason
5 Free Agents the Cowboys Should Re-Sign
The Dallas Cowboys, fresh off another disappointing campaign in which they fell just short of the playoffs, are set to embark on another offseason in which improvements will need to be made.
Jerry Jones, who serves as the team's owner and its GM, will look to navigate through the spring by making some beneficial signings in free agency and selections in the draft. But a successful offseason in Dallas will take more than just adding the right veterans and nabbing some impactful rookies. Deciding whether or not to retain several players whose contracts are expiring will also determine if Jones' tweaking of the roster will be looked at with approval from the club's rabid fanbase.
Thanks to the massive contracts that have been given to quarterback Tony Romo and defensive end DeMarcus Ware, the Cowboys will be in a tight position cap-wise and might be forced to let some of their talented impending free agents sign elsewhere. Included among those players who Jones would love to have on the 2014 roster but might not have cap space to re-sign are defensive tackle Jason Hatcher and defensive end Anthony Spencer.
Hatcher registered 11.0 sacks in 2013 but will turn 32-years-old over the summer and would likely cost too much to commit long-term to or tag for one more season. Spencer, meanwhile, would require a lucrative, long-term deal Dallas likely won't be able to afford. Not to mention that he's coming off a season-ending knee injury.
Will either Hatcher or Spencer make the list of top-five free agents the Cowboys should attempt to re-sign? If not, which five players who own expired contracts should they look to bring back? Let's take a look.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him Twitter @CodyJStrahm.
5. Danny McCray
Strong safety Danny McCray isn't a starting-caliber defensive back, but he does have starting experience and can continue to provide the Cowboys' secondary with depth. Most importantly, though, he's a standout special-teamer, which shouldn't be undervalued. McCray took a pay cut before the 2013 season began, so odds are he'll be willing to re-sign for cheap.
4. Jarius Wynn
Defensive lineman Jarius Wynn was far from spectacular in the 10 games and two starts he took part in for Dallas this past season. He did manage 2.0 sacks, though, primarily rushing from the interior of the Cowboys' front. With the possibility of fellow defensive linemen Hatcher and Spencer taking their talents elsewhere in free agency, Jones would be wise to keep Wynn around for depth purposes.
3. Chris Jones
The 24-year-old punter isn't one of the game's best at his position, but he's solid enough to warrant a new deal. Chris Jones pinned 30 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line in 2013, which ranked as the eighth most in the entire league. Although his 45.0 yards-per-boot average was only slotted 19th, there likely won't be any definite upgrades available in free agency or the draft.
2. Ryan Cook
Center Ryan Cook was forced to sit out the 2013 season with a back injury. He was decent in 11 starts back in 2012, though, as Pro Football Focus graded him as the league's 19th most efficient center. Travis Frederick replaced Cook this past season, and was a mixed bag, grading as one of the league's best run blockers but one of the worst pass protectors at his position. Regardless, Cook would at least provide the Cowboys' offensive line with depth.
1. Dan Bailey
As one of the most accurate kickers in football, Dan Bailey will almost assuredly be offered a new deal by Dallas. Bailey connected on 28-of-30 tries in 2013, which was good enough for the fourth-highest percentage in the league. Re-signing him is a no-brainer for the Cowboys.