Sometimes the best move to make is none at all, at least that is the perspective of Cowboys vice-president Stephen Jones regarding the Cowboys inactivity so far in free agency. Jones said the Cowboys have simply played it smart rather than throwing big money at marginal free agents, as several teams have done.
Jones acknowledges that the Cowboys strategy probably cost them a chance to add a "wow" player in free agency as owner Jerry Jones promised last month. He indicated receiver Javon Walker might have fit that description but said the Cowboys weren't prepared to pay the bounty he got from the Raiders _ six years, $55 million, including $16 million guaranteed money.
Besides, he said the Cowboys scored more than a few points last season with their current crop of receivers and expects them to be better in 2008 because the young receivers will make improvements. Jones, however, didn't deny that receiver would be a focal point in the draft and the Cowboys, armed with two first round picks, can still add in a wow player on the first day of the draft. In addition to receiver, Jones allowed that running back and cornerback are need positions for the Cowboys going into the draft.
Jones said the Cowboys will almost certainly address the running back position _ considering that Julius Jones signed a free agent contract with the Seahawks and starter Marion Barber has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender.
Jones said the Cowboys are not worried about losing Barber, who was given a $2.56 million one year tender offer. He said they are still in discussions with his agent Drew Rosenhaus about a long term deal. But he said they could conceivably find Barber's backup in a draft that is loaded with running backs. He said the Cowboys are not pressed to sign a veteran running back in free agency because they can get a quality running back in the draft.
_ Clarence E. Hill