Mailbag: Changing Free Agency Philosophy? Xavier Woods' Role In '18?

ERIC PODBERESKY

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Despite it not being the Cowboys' philosophy recently, don't the last four teams in the playoffs provide a blueprint for Dallas to spend more money on free agents this year? Philadelphia, Minnesota, New England and Jacksonville all have over 20 players on their 53 who they got through free agency and trades.

Rob:Just counted it up. The Cowboys had 26 players acquired through free agency or trades on their final 53-man roster of 2017. Of course teams must fill out their 53 with more than draft picks, but the draft is so critical because it's the only way to acquire young talent without overspending. They're not going to change their approach to free agency. They've got players of their own to try to sign long-term, such as DeMarcus Lawrence and Zack Martin, before they throw money at free agents they don't know nearly as well.

Bryan: If you heard Stephen Jones yesterday with us, he's more interested in signing his own first and using the draft. This is not to say he won't trade or try and sign free agents, but this is his preferred route and I don't have a problem with that. If all his free agents hit the open market, they would be the most sought-after group. It's a fact. 


SHAUN RODVOLD

COLORADO SPRINGS

I was wondering what you think Dallas does with Xavier Woods next year? He did a fine job playing slot, but safety needs help. Can we count on a move back to safety or does he stay at slot? Keep up the great work!

Rob: They seem to like Woods' instincts and toughness in the slot. Could see it becoming a regular role for him, but it might depend on how the team addresses those positions in the offseason. Also, Orlando Scandrick – the slot corner when healthy for years here – seemed uncertain about his future in Dallas when asked at the end of the season, despite having two years left on his contract.

Bryan: I still think you're going to see a mix with him. I don't mean that as a ride-the-fence answer, but he's done those things well. With that being said, I worried about his lack of size for the position and I worried about his awareness as well. He's going to need to physically develop more (weight room) and with his understanding of the pro game. 

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