Most of the time when a team loses the NFL’s leading rusher in free agency, you’d rubber-stamp the offseason as an abject failure.
But if you look closer, the Cowboys’ summer hasn’t been a bummer.
Sure DeMarco Murray flew to the division rival Philadelphia Eagles, but it’s not wrong to say the Cowboys let him leave. They set their price for his worth and the Eagles topped it. It sets up for a fascinating season in which we’ll constantly compare Murray’s production to that of the Cowboys’ running back by committee behind the NFL’s best offensive line.
But aside from that headline-stealing move, the Cowboys’ transactions were a string of positivity:
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10. Rod Marinelli and Scott Linehan – Coming off a 12-4 season, it was crucial to keep the continuity on both sides of the ball.
9. Cole Beasley – A guy who quit football is now a developing, reliable weapon with a new four-year contract.
8. Rolando McClain – He’s a knucklehead that will serve a four-game suspension to start the season, but he proved last season that he can be a positive playmaker at middle linebacker.
7. Orlando Scandrick – Couple summers ago Jerry Jones was blasted for giving him a long-term deal. Now the owner is praised for keeping his best cornerback happy with a contract extension.
6. Jason Garrett – A no-brainer, sure, but the five-year contract he signed in January set the tone for an aggressive offseason.
5. Defensive Draft – Adding cornerback Byron Jones and pass rusher Randy Gregory as rookies who can immediately step onto the field and help the defense was just what the draft doctor ordered.
4. La’el Collins – Despite a checkered past, the LSU behemoth could force his way into the starting lineup along Dallas’ talented offensive line.
3. Darren McFadden – He’s no Murray, but he at least gives the Cowboys a proven veteran back in case Joseph Randle and Ryan Williams fizzle.
2. Greg Hardy – We can debate the move to acquire a man of his questionable character, but there’s no argument that Jones reiterated a loud “go for it” mode by signing the talented pass rusher.
1. Dez Bryant – Despite the above moves, the offseason would’ve been a failure had the Cowboys not signed him to a long-term deal last week. Now, the pieces are in place for a Super-Bowl run this season, and beyond.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.