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Mailbag: Adopting Rams' Win-Now Approach?


The Rams sacrificed their future by trading away their draft, and obviously it worked because they are in the Super Bowl. Shouldn't Dallas be doing some of this to get to this level? — KEVIN TITUS / BILLINGS, MT

Nick: Like with anything in life, I like to find a middle balance. I definitely like some of the things the Rams did to add veteran players who clearly needed a change of scenery. Now, the fact they won't have a first-round pick until 2024 seems a bit risky, but if they win this game, it'd be worth it. And that's what Jerry Jones told us all in training camp – that he'd do anything it takes to win one. Well, maybe the Cowboys should be a little more aggressive in that approach. I've always said that on Draft Day, I'm looking at veteran players out there – maybe on the end of their deals – and I'd consider trading a mid-round pick for a guy who is proven. I don't think the Cowboys have done that enough.

Rob: I get this is a copycat league, and I give the Rams a lot of credit because their strategy is bold and it paid off this year. If it hadn't — and it almost didn't — they would've been highly criticized for trading away their first-round pick for the next two years plus three other picks this year. Most teams build through the draft like the Cowboys. Maybe there's more of a middle ground between the two philosophies, but 2021 went about as well as the Cowboys could've hoped from a roster-building standpoint. They had a great draft headlined by an All-Pro player, and they hit on almost all of their cap-friendly deals in free agency.

Do you all think we can expect another year of free agency that is similar to the recent years? No big moves initially, but possibly a few little signings? — BRYAN SCOTT / RED LION, PA

Nick: Yes, I would expect another year of seeing guys you know and love walk out the door, replaced by guys you've never heard of. But here's the difference. Last year, when the Cowboys add a Jayron Kearse or Damontae Kazee to the mix, it didn't register the same as it might now. Dan Quinn knows the league and he knows what he wants. So if the Cowboys sign some fourth-year veteran corner who hasn't produced a ton but for some reason is on Quinn and the Cowboys' radar, we should have a little more optimism this year.

Rob: Yes. Go ahead and prepare yourself. As stated above, the Cowboys will likely follow their normal strategy of building through the draft and being opportunistic in free agency, in addition to trying to re-sign a good number of their 20-plus free agents. The salary cap will be pretty tight unless they want to restructure a bunch of contracts, but they've usually been selective in that regard.

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