SANTA CLARA, CA
Does the 10-year contract for Tyron Smith put the future of the line in jeopardy when it comes time to keep all three first-round draft picks? I find it hard to believe they will sink $10 million per pick and such a large hit to the cap in future years? Or will that be dealt with as the cap continues to grow and with restructures? I love the signing; I am just worried about the future if they all turn out to be studs.
David: The length of Smith's contract should play a role in all of that. As Stephen Jones said Wednesday, Smith won't be any more expensive than $13.5 million at any point of his deal, and when you remember the increases in the salary cap and the potential for restructures, that's not all that much money. I think you also need to keep in mind that other contracts will be coming off the books in that timespan. By the time Zack Martin comes up for renewal, guys like Jason Witten and Brandon Carr might not be members of this team any more – who can say? It all depends. But the length of Smith's deal should give them some valuable flexibility in future salary cap dealings.
Rowan: By the time the other picks need second contracts, the cap will look much different and the space will be greater. It's also best not to think of this deal as a $100 million deal, just look more at the guaranteed money. It's not an outlandish deal given his talent and future. Plus, who knows what players like Zack Martin will be? There's a long time before Frederick and Martin are up, and I don't think the potential barriers you presented should stop the Cowboys from locking up the 23-year old stud who's the most valuable of the group. There will be a lot more deals done and others they have to consider before then.
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
With Demarcus Lawrence going down, I know the hopes are that Jeremy Mincey steps up, but what are the chances of signing a free agent? I know it is slim pickings out there, but is there someone out there worth looking at?
David:As training camp grinds along and players start getting cut, I suppose you could see it. But there's two factors I'm [embedded_ad] considering in this situation: firstly, they have a full list of current players they want to evaluate. Secondly, Lawrence's injury should only sideline him until perhaps October – so it's not quite the same type of loss as Tyrone Crawford last year. I'm doubtful they're in a huge rush to add someone right now. But it's not out of the question.
Rowan: Let's remember that it was around this time last year that George Selvie came from free agency to the Cowboys. It's always possible something like that happens again. But I think they want to analyze some of the young guys they have now before making any major decisions. They need to see if Martez Wilson can make the transition from linebacker and if a guy like Ben Gardner can get healthy and make a difference. Not to mention, as roster sizes are forced to dwindle later in the preseason, that may be the time teams let go of talented ends they wouldn't have released otherwise. That's a good time for the Cowboys to pounce if they need to.