bonus that can be prorated over the life of the contract or guaranteed roster bonuses to be paid down the road and far more immediate roster bonuses to be paid in 2010.
Certainly, the Cowboys aren't going to let Austin walk. No way. Same with Gerald Sensabaugh, especially since the safety position is so iffy anyway. They likely want to keep at least - at least - two of their three restricted defensive ends (Marcus Spears, Jason Hatcher, Stephen Brown), if not all three. Unless, of course, someone wants to give them a first for Spears coming off his best two seasons of his five-year career. That all could cost money.
Although, parlaying the likes of Hatcher, Bowen, Sam Hurd and Cory Procter into possible seconds might seem pretty reasonable, but signing those reciprocal second-round draft choices this summer will cost a pretty penny, too.
So I'm just sayin' . . .
Plus, if you look at the Cowboys history of signing unrestricted free agents, especially the past 10 years, they haven't been all that active. The Cowboys did not sign an unrestricted soul in 2001, 2004 and 2008, and two other years (2007 and 2009) no more than three.
Also, over the past 10 years they have signed a total of 29 unrestricted free agents. Want to know how many unqualified hits they've had? Try six, Ryan McNeil, La'Roi Glover, Jeff Robinson, Anthony Henry, Kyle Kosier and Leonard Davis, with the jury still out on the past three, Sensabaugh, Keith Brooking and Igor Olshansky, although the first-year returns on all three were quite high. Some were just OK, but not necessarily worth the money spent, guys such as Kevin Hardy, Richie Anderson, Dan Campbell, Jason Ferguson and Ken Hamlin.
See, just don't get itchy, and neither should the Cowboys. Otherwise you end up with the likes of some of the decade's biggest flops, like Mike Vanderjagt, Jason Fabini, Anthony Thomas, Rocky Boiman, Ryan Hannam, Donald Mitchell, Ryan Young, Bryant Westbrook and Paul Justin. Yeesh! Although the good thing about all that mess, to be fair, is only Vanderjagt got any amount of money.
Plus, the last thing the Cowboys need to do is mess up a good thing.
Right, it was a good thing in 2009, wasn't it? Just not good enough, and because of that the Cowboys, and you, too, should be cautious judging too harshly on needs following the 34-3 loss at Minnesota. One game, albeit one bad game.
Plus remember, this is free agency, and only eight days have passed, not some First Monday.