2014 Dallas Cowboys Free Agents
By Matthew Postins
The Dallas Cowboys expect to have more than a dozen free agents in 2014. The Cowboys are reportedly $31 million over the expected 2014 NFL salary cap. That will make it difficult to sign new free agents, much less keep the ones they expect to hit the market in March.
Below is a list of the free agents the Cowboys will see hit the market in March, barring a contract agreement before free agency begins March 11:
Restricted free agents
Restricted free agents are players with three years of NFL service. The Cowboys can tender the player a contract offer, but the player can still shop their services. The player can accept the tender or, if they sign with another team, the Cowboys will receive compensation in the form of a draft pick.
PK Dan Bailey: All Bailey does is make field goals. He’s made 90 percent of his attempts in three years. He has more game-winning kicks than any Cowboys kicker in team history. He’s money on kickoffs and has 50-plus range. How do you not tender this guy and keep him at least one more year?
RB Phillip Tanner: He helps on special teams but he seems to have lost his role as a back-up running back. Do the Cowboys really need him moving forward?
P Chris Jones: It probably won’t cost the Cowboys much to tender him. The Cowboys like his foot. But you can find another punter.
Unrestricted free agents
These are players that can start negotiating with any team on March 8 and can sign with any team on March 11.
DE Anthony Spencer: The Cowboys would have to sign him long-term. Coming off microfracture surgery in his knee, the Cowboys might be better off letting someone else take a chance on Spencer.
DT Jason Hatcher: The vet is coming off his best season as a pro. Plus, it sounds like he doesn’t really care if he comes back to Dallas. He’s going to take the highest bid. After the Jay Ratliff debacle, it would be best advised to let another team take a chance on Ratliff, who is on the north side of 30 years old.
G Brian Waters: Stabilized the Cowboys’ offensive line for the short time he was on it. But does Waters really want to come back for one more year, and will he be the same after his torn triceps?
G/C Ryan Cook: He spent all season on injured reserve. He’s unlikely to return.
S Danny McCray: A special teams stud, McCray is a liability in coverage. The Cowboys have other special teams options and could afford to let him go.
G Brandon Carter: Who? Exactly.
LB Ernie Sims: A crafty vet who can play in any system. He’s worth the veteran minimum.
LB Edgar Jones: You have to imagine the Cowboys can do better than Jones on the open market.
DE Jarius Wynn: Another veteran minimum guy would could be good depth for a defensive line that sorely needs it.
QB Jon Kitna: He’ll go back to teaching math in Tacoma.
LB Orie Lemon: Signed late in the season as depth. Not sure if he has a future in Dallas.
Note: This list was compiled from multiple sources and may be updated as news develops.