The Dallas Cowboys seem have changed their approach to the offseason. They are typically the team that overpays what is said to be one of the top free agents available. This has been the theme for many years and often puts them in a tough spot when it comes to managing their cap space. With that said they seem to have left their previous notions of free agency behind them.
The Cowboys are not overspending to sign someone, who, based on the hefty salary that they would command, would again cause salary issues. Certain fans that have grown accustomed to the free agent spending spree may have been anticipating that the Cowboys would try to sign high profile defensive free agents like Darrelle Revis, or Justin Tuck. Both of those individuals could have made sizable contributions to the team, however they would indirectly hurt the Cowboys far more than they could help.
Luckily, the Cowboys didn’t sign either of these players but instead chose to sign Henry Melton, the former Bears defensive lineman to a one year deal. This may not be the “sexy” choice but Melton is a Pro Bowl caliber player and since he is coming off of an injury that made him a little more affordable.
The Cowboys are also changing the way they handle resigning their players. They used to overpay a player massively, and then would restructure that deal seemingly every year until the contract was up. This year they didn’t overpay to resign any of their players and instead used their money more effectively to gain key role players. The best example of this is when they chose not to resign Jason Hatcher. Hatcher had a career year in 2013, and as such was looking to be paid a large amount. If this had been a past year that’s exactly what the Cowboys would have done, but instead the Cowboys decided that one year of sizable productivity should not equal a massive contract.
The last aspect that I particularly viewed as a positive was they began to make some tough decisions. What I mean by this is they did not act in ways that you could tell was an emotional decision. The decision to cut Demarcus Ware, was viewed as being sacrilegious when it was first announced, but personally I believe they made the right call.
While Ware has been a phenomenal player in Dallas, he was consistently injured this past season, and as such he didn’t command the same respect that he used to. That being said the Cowboys were able to look past his success and ultimately cut him loose. The same could be said for the cutting of Miles Austin as well. Miles made a name for himself rather unexpectedly in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs. However since that time, he has been consistently injured and was massively overpaid for the contribution he actually had.
The Cowboys are beginning to show the signs that they are capable of making the tough decisions that will benefit them into the future. They have made tough calls this offseason and one can only hope that they will continue to use this mindset for many years to come.