The Cowboys currently have the second-most cap space in the NFL at $22.4 million. For most organizations, that would be an opportunity to add talent and push their team to the next level. However, things don’t roll that way when it comes to the Cowboys.
Dallas had their opening press conference for training camp on Tuesday. According to Jane Slater of NFL Network, the Cowboys, although they are sitting pretty in regard to the cap, won’t likely make any moves anytime soon.
#Cowboys believe their cap space is “dry powder” that they may not necessarily use this season. They see question marks on this team as opportunities for younger guys— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) July 26, 2022
So, the plan is to do nothing.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones, who has become the bane of Cowboys fans’ existence with how he operates the team’s finances, said that he’s satisfied with what they have done in free agency.
“I feel like, what we did in free agency, we feel comfortable that we’ve helped this team,” Jones said on Tuesday. “And not unlike Jerry, I feel great about our football team.”
Is that right, Stephen?
It’s not to say that the Cowboys haven’t added a few pieces that will contribute this season. Wide receiver James Washington will have a pretty decent role as maybe a slot guy for the Cowboys, especially with Michael Gallup missing time to start the season. Edge rusher Dante Fowler, a former first-round pick, has a chance to make a good impact on the Cowboys’ pass rush with his versatile skill set.
The problem with Jones and how he runs the show these days is the lack of a sense of urgency when it comes to obtaining free agency’s premier names. Seven-time All-Pro edge rusher Von Miller and eight-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner both wanted to play for the Cowboys, and in Miller’s case, he was willing to take less money. However, thanks to Stephen Jones and his sit-on-the-hands philosophy, they both slipped through the Cowboys’ fingers.
Instead, the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills, who almost knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs on the road in the playoffs, are reaping the benefits of the Cowboys’ shortcomings. On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran wide receiver Julian Jones, a five-time All-Pro, to a one-year deal. Granted, Jones has had injury issues as of late, but he’s yet another veteran that the Cowboys could have had, at a position that can certainly use an established veteran presence.
The Cowboys have had an interest in free-agent linebacker Anthony Barr for a while, but that pursuit is currently on hold according to reports. Unfortunately, with the signings of linebackers Malik Jefferson and Christian Sam, Barr’s chances of landing in Dallas aren’t great anyways.
This latest approach is a continuation of the conservative maneuvering by Stephen Jones when it comes to acquiring talent. All the other teams mentioned that signed premium free agents are expected to be contenders in 2022. So it brings up the question, does Jones even care about the Cowboys having the best chance to win a championship?
Only time will tell if that’s the case, but as things sit right now, it doesn’t seem like it.
Feature image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports