The Cowboys’ risk-averse approach to roster-building seems unduly restrained
The 2018 NFL season officially begins at 4 PM Eastern time Wednesday, signaling the beginning of the annual free-agent frenzy that sees rosters transformed at a dizzying rate. Once again, the Cowboys are not expected to be significant players. This is partly due to the fact the team (as always) has no salary cap room to make any big splashes. (In fact, the team already made a big splash by placing the franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence. Putting one of 2017’s best pass rushers and edge defenders on the team’s 2018 roster counts as a “big splash” even it’s not as exciting as signing a true free agent.)
But it’s now well-understood that the Cowboys’ front-office disdains big free agent investments, with virtually all big-money contracts going to players drafted and developed in-house. That’s a reasonable strategy as paying retail prices for players on the wrong side of the aging curve rarely yields the expected dividends.