The big gamble this organization continues to make

We all know most teams in today’s cap era NFL that build serious contenders for playoff success use a three pronged approach to improving their rosters from year to year. It requires several key components:

  • Savvy scouting, drafting and developing young players to become your primary pipeline of talent.
  • A few key free agent or trade acquisitions that provide an immediate upgrade at certain positions. (Sometimes you can’t wait for all the young talent you drafted to develop. Otherwise you lose whole seasons)
  • Free agent moves are only a serious option when your front office has meticulously managed the salary cap so you have the flexibility to make the FA moves you need after you have signed some of your cornerstone pieces.

Our front office gets at least 1/3 of the above parts done pretty well. The Cowboys are in the top third of the league when it comes to drafting talent to build around. Unfortunately when it comes to the free agency and cap management parts of team building, our FO is ham fisted.

So in essence, our FO chooses to place all its chips on one of the three parts of team building: The draft and development piece. It’s good that we are fairly good at that. But it’s not enough if you’re serious about competing for a championship NOW. To put it even simpler, our front office gambles every year on the hope that our drafts and development of players will be enough to beat all the good teams using free agency and trades too.

Not surprisingly it’s a gamble only those executives with lifetime contracts regardless of results can afford to make. And it’s a gamble they created because they are so poor at managing the cap, making acquisitions of some key free agents not a realistic option.

So as we go into 2024, our FO has placed all their chips on guys we HOPE will develop – Sam Williams, Jalen Tolbert, Damone Clark, Mazi Smith, Luke Schoonmaker, DeMarvion Overshown, Tyler Guyton, Marshawn Kneeland, and Cooper Bebee, and some other youngsters.

Don‘t get me wrong, I like those players. I believe in drafting and developing players. But that’s a big gamble that all those guys are going to be able to carry a ton of responsibility this upcoming season if we expect to be another playoff contender in 2024.

It’s a gamble. But it won’t matter if it doesn’t work because the only people held accountable for the results didn’t make those decisions.

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