Things have been happening at a fast pace for the Cowboys since free agency officially began this week. Still more to come but let’s look at how it is going so far:
CB Brandon Carr signed and Newman cut: Grade A-
I like this move because it was really needed and I think the Cowboys just got a noticeable upgrade at corner. Newman was well past his prime while Carr comes in playing at his best. His stats last year in coverage were impressive and was ranked behind Finnegan as the number 4 free agent CB by PFF. Just short of an A because there were better free agents available and they paid $50 million for Carr.
Safety Brodney Pool signed and Elam cut: Grade B+
The safety position has been a real eye sore for the Cowboys the last couple years. The 2012 draft just doesn’t offer many promising safeties so I think getting one in FA was a must. Dallas gets a good safety in Pool. He is 28 and may not have a lot of years ahead of him but for now he makes the Cowboys better in the secondary. Pool was ranked 5th among free agent safeties by PFF. There were better out there but Dallas did themselves some good here.
ILB Dan Conner signed and Brooking and James are free agents at this point: Grade C
Dallas will need some depth at this position with Carter expected to play after his knee injury. Perhaps now the dinosaur Brooking will be let go. Conner played at Penn St. like Sean Lee and should provide solid depth. I don’t look for him to be outstanding. The Cowboys could possibly find better in the draft such as Luke the LB from Boston College. Don’t think this FA move gets us any closer to winning the East.
QB Kyle Orton signed to replace retired Kitna: Grade C-
Honestly I’m just not feeling this addition. Orton has impressed at times and depressed at times too. I like the idea of bringing in an experienced QB as a back up but I have low expectations that he will really help them significantly. I look for McGee to be the 2nd string QB.
OG Bernadeau signed: Grade C
A guard with only one start last year on a Panthers offensive line that was to say the least, not stellar. He will add depth but expectations should be low here. Let’s hope Stanford guard DeCastro is still on the board at number 14 for Dallas.
FB Lawrence Vickers signed while Fiammetta not signed: Grade D
No offense Vickers, but I think the Cowboys made a mistake here. Fiametta proved himself last season as an effective lead blocker but he was not signed. To be fair there are some health concerns with him but I think this move was about the money. May regret this one next year.
“LOW-Rent” Robinson not signed: Grade F
Jerry enjoyed the services of the inexpensive “Low-rent” Robinson last year as he was the Cowboys most productive WR. His chemistry with Romo was special and he showed up in the redzone like an old dependable friend. This had to be about the money and with only Austin (and his not so reliable hamstring) along with Dez, the Cowboys will need to replace Robinson. He could be missed especially in the redzone.
Looking Ahead: What is needed now?
WR- Robinson gone to Jags while it looks like Holley and Ogletree are leaving. Need to bring in help.
TE-Marty B gone to the Giants. Need depth.