IRVING, Texas --The Cowboys spent the majority of their free agent cash on cornerback Brandon Carr last week, not a household-name guard like Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs. Instead, they addressed the position with a pair of moderately-priced signings -- Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau -- for about $30 million total.
There's a team precedent for those decisions: the five-year, $15 million contract Kyle Kosier signed in 2006.
That deal didn't get much fanfare, either. The same week, Terrell Owens stole headlines with his highly-publicized arrival in Dallas. But Kosier wound up being the longest-tenured acquisition from that particular offseason. He started 80 games over six years, including 16 in 2011 after re-signing for three years and $9 million.
Now that Kosier has been waived after a third gutsy, yet injury-plagued season with the Cowboys, the team is moving on with a similar philosophy.
Kosier was a four-year starter with Detroit and San Francisco before coming to Dallas; Livings and Bernadeau have 67 starts between them. The Cowboys are optimistic both will fill needs on the interior offensive line -- particularly by adding more size around center Phil Costa if he's the starter again -- but neither precluded the team from allocating most of their cap space to Carr.
Will it work? We'll see. Neither has been a dominant player so far in their respective careers.
But the Cowboys couldn't afford to spend big at every position. They didn't pay big for Kosier six years ago, and that worked out pretty well.
That appears to be the hope here for their two new guards.