The Runner Sports

Dallas Cowboys Free Agency Recap


The Dallas Cowboys have been very quiet in Free Agency thus far. While trying to avoid overpaying for players due to the inflated free agent market, it is important to fill positions of need before the draft. The Cowboys have done a decent job of that so far, but will still need to make a few more acquisitions in order to be in a good position come draft day.

Notable Moves 

  • Morris Claiborne (1-year, $3 million). This is a pretty good signing for the Cowboys. They have Orlando Scandrick coming back from injury next year, but are thin at the cornerback position. The Cowboys still need to make a decision on Brandon Carr’s future, which may be in jeopardy in Dallas. Claiborne has been nowhere near great for the Cowboys, but has shown ability when healthy to be a capable starter, especially last season. Claiborne is still young and has another chance on a one-year deal to prove his worth in Dallas. Grade B
  • James Hanna (3-years, $8.25 million). James Hanna has played pretty well since the Cowboys drafted him a few years ago out of Oklahoma. Hanna is primarily used as a blocking tight end, although he has the speed, athleticism, and hands to make plays in the receiving game. For some reason however, Dallas has barely used him in the passing game at all. Had Hanna showed more in previous seasons, this contract would be a little more warranted. Maybe Dallas is paying Hanna as security for Jason Witten, who is certainly nearing the end of his career, but 8.25 million seems a bit high for what Hanna has shown thus far. Something more along the lines of 3-years, 6 million seems a bit more accurate. Grade C
  • Roland McClain (1-year, $5 million). McClain has been up and down for the Cowboys, but is certainly an important piece to their defense. When healthy, McClain is very good at defending both the run and pass. Injuries have been an issue for McClain however. Unfortunately, the Cowboys do not have the depth at linebacker to allow McClain to walk. I think $5 million is just about right for the inside linebacker who will have one more shot to prove himself and hopefully help this defense in 2016. Grade B
  • Cedric Thornton (4-years, $18 million). The Cowboys have lacked effective play at the 1-tech defensive tackle position for years. Thornton gives them a mauler in the run game who can eat space and create good match-ups for the outside rushers. Thornton won’t add much to the pass rush, but if he can defend the run, and just create pressure up front, he will serve his purpose. For the price defensive players are getting paid, $18 million for 4 years is a good deal for Dallas. Grade B+

Judging from the above acquisitions, Dallas has not done anything spectacular in Free Agency, but has also not done anything that can really come back to bite them. The Cowboys will still take a look at players all offseason, and really try to head in to the draft with as many needs filled as possible. Some names to keep an eye on in the upcoming weeks are Chris Long, Leon Hall, and Dashon Goldson. The Cowboys have expressed some interest in all of these players.

Remaining Needs – immediate needs- DE, S

– depth needs- QB, RB, LB, CB/S

Troy Altbaum

Lifelong Dallas Cowboys fan. Student at Rowan University. Follow me for the latest Dallas Cowboys and NFL Draft analysis @troyalt38