Dallas Cowboys Free Agents: Cowboys Are Cornering the Market on Former Fifth-Round Picks

Brandon Carr is the new cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys.

This post is not a complaint about the Dallas Cowboys free agents signed so far. They generally make sense and have filled some needs on both sides of the ball.

The money involved is what does not make quite as much sense. Jerry can spend his money how he chooses, of course, but it is everyone’s business how much salary cap space the team will have down the road.

Long before signing Brandon Carr from Kansas City, the team locked up two members of its terrible secondary. In August, Dallas signed Orlando Scandrick to a five-year extension worth $27 million. This is former fifth-round pick Orlando Scandrick and his two (now three) career interceptions.

In December, the Cowboys announced that they had signed safety Gerald Sensabaugh to a five-year extension worth $22.5 million. That’s former fifth-round pick Gerald Sensabaugh, a leader in the can’t-cover-anyone secondary.

Now the team agrees to a $50.1 million, five-year contract for Carr. That’s former fifth-round pick Brandon Carr and his eight career interceptions.

I thought perhaps I was alone in being a little bit underwhelmed, but here is what Pro Football Focus said:

Brandon Carr to DAL: Carr is a good cornerback, but the Cowboys have spent an awful lot of money on potential as opposed to production. He is an upgrade for their secondary, but one that may struggle to live up to the price tag.

Dallas has brought in some other players who might contribute. Brodney Pool has started a total of 67 games with the Jets and Browns and is expected to start at strong safety.

(An added benefit of these signings to bloggers: the names “Carr” and “Pool” are much easier to spell than “Scandrick” and “Sensabaugh.” Moreover, we no longer have to double- and triple-check whether we’ve spelled Terence—with one “r”— correctly).

New veterans on the team include QB Kyle Orton and LB Dan Connor. Their addition has raised questions about the immediate futures of QB Stephen McGee (why bother developing a quarterback in the first place?) and Bruce Carter (why do we keep drafting injured linebackers?).

Other signings include G Mackenzy Bernadeau and FB Lawrence Vickers. Neither has served as as full-time starter in the NFL.

Team History in Quotes: Drafting Terence Newman and Martellus Bennett

I have posted many polls to this site, and while some of them have had 300 or so responses, none has come close to the poll I ran yesterday about whether Terence Newman underachieved in Dallas.

A total of 689 visitors responded to the poll. Of these, 530 (77%) said “yes” while only 142 (21%) said “no.” Sixteen either did not answer or stated another response.

In 2003, most viewed the Dallas draft as a success. Here are a couple of quotes from the time of the draft.

“A second straight good draft could spell big things for Dallas this season and beyond. No. 5 overall Terence Newman is a future Pro Bowler and third-round pick Jason Witten could get there as well. Second-rounder Al Johnson will be the starter at center while fourth-rounder Bradie James could make a spot for himself in the linebacking corps. “

A review by a writer in Corpus Christi. To their credit, Newman, Witten, and James became starters for a long time. Johnson, however, played for three teams in five seasons and was out of the league after 2008.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Tuesday, April 29, 2003

“His burst and catch-up speed does remind me of Deion Sanders. What stood out early is his speed at 10 to 20 yards. Then, you look at how he returns punts, his instincts and skill. “

Jerry Jones about Newman, who returned a total of 38 punts during his career in Dallas.

* * *

Martellus Bennett became a member of the New York Giants on Wednesday.

Another underachiever who is no longer with the Cowboys is tight end Martellus Bennett, who signed with the Giants on Wednesday.  The Cowboys needed to take a receiver in 2008 but instead grabbed Bennett, an athletic tight end from Texas A&M. Dallas had created a need a tight end by trading a former draft pick, Anthony Fasano, to the Dolphins.

Some quotes from and regarding Bennett:

“I think this is a good spot for me. Jason Witten is a proven Pro Bowler. I can learn how to be a Pro Bowler.” 

Bennett, who had a total of 85 receptions with Dallas in four seasons. Witten surpassed 85 receptions in both 2009 and 2010.

Source: Houston Chronicle, April 27, 2008

“He’s going to add a dimension to our offense.”

Wade Phillips about Bennett, who turned out to be a decent blocker.

Less Than Commemorative Endings for Williams and Newman

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History in Quotes: Cowboys vs. Rams in the Playoffs

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Dallas Cowboys Draft: Most Still Looking at Kirkpatrick or Barron

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