Free agency starts at 3 p.m. Tuesday. The Cowboys are expected to at least put out feelers on some players. Though they have money to spend, they are not expected to go after the most expensive free agents, including guard Carl Nicks and pass-rusher Mario Williams. But fans can dream. They are expected to show interest in cornerbacks Cortland Finnegan and Brandon Carr as well as in their own free agent, receiver Laurent Robinson.
Who should be the Cowboys' top target in free agency?
Clarence Hill, beat writer: The Cowboys should make a hard play for Saints guard Carl Nicks. He is the considered the best young guard in the league and definitely would be worth the money on a long-term commitment. If they can lock him up, then they can go for one of the cornerbacks and still draft a corner in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Charean Williams, beat writer: It better be their own free agent, receiver Laurent Robinson. The veteran minimum salary benefit contract he signed, which paid him $605,000 in 2011, prevented the Cowboys from re-signing him until he becomes a free agent. After he caught 54 passes for 858 yards and 11 touchdowns in 14 games for the Cowboys, his return is much needed. They can't rely on Andre Holmes. As for free agents from other teams, I'm with Clarence. I'd like to at least see them make a run at Carl Nicks. He is worth every penny.
Carlos Mendez, beat writer: I've got to find a cornerback first. I'd like a guard, too. The corner I like is Tracy Porter of the Saints. He's young;he's made plays in the Super Bowl, and he's won a ring. Plus, if anybody's got the guts to round up a bounty party, he knows how to play. At guard, there's not much out there. Well, there's plenty, but a lot of it's old or not that good or both. Ben Grubbs of the Ravens holds the best combination of youth (age 28), experience, and experience in a winning culture.
David Humphrey, editor: Kansas City cornerback Brandon Carr. He's tall and can cover big receivers. Sounds simple, but those qualities aren't easy to find at cornerback. He's also durable. He stays on the field. Dallas needs to cover first and tackle second in the secondary. It's gotten to that point. There were some games last season where the defenders weren't even in the coverage area on some of the completions allowed which would make tackling a moot point anyway. Carr will get his share of interceptions if Ryan's blitzes are even remotely successful.