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Mailbag: Intriguing Fringe Players On The Roster? Free Agency Spending?

There are two players the Cowboys have that intrigue me. They quietly signed Quincy McDuffie from the CFL in the offseason. Is he a candidate to be a kick returner or could he push for playing time?  The other is Jameill Showers. I know he was moved to safety. Is he anywhere near close enough in his development to contribute on Sundays even as a special teams guy? I'd really like to see him get on the field.

Bryan: I need to check out McDuffie in the preseason because I couldn't grab any CFL tape. I am interested in Showers as well. He ran scout team cards all fall so we will see if Joe Baker and Greg Jackson can get him ready? He might surprise some folks with his athletic ability and toughness. 

David:Both guys are intriguing – especially McDuffie, who was the best kick returner in the CFL last year. Players like this are exactly why teams take 90 guys to training camp. Put some pads on and see what you have. At the same time, it's usually a mistake to expect much from guys like this. I'd bet that 90 percent of the time, they don't make the final roster. But there's something special about that 10 percent, as Tony Romo and Cole Beasley could tell you.

Have you guys noticed how many "top-tier" free agents -- Alshon Jeffery, Dontare Poe, etc. -- signed one-year, big-money (& looks like prove-it) deals? Do you guys think this a new approach by teams in the league when gambling in free agency to protect themselves, or is it just this crop of free agents this year?

Bryan: I think teams are looking at the lack of quality players but also keeping an eye on the draft. When it comes to free agency, fans always have a higher opinion of the players than the teams do. I am not surprised at all by these one year deals. Makes no sense to overpay players when you can draft better ones. 

David:I honestly think it's just an issue of circumstances. Jeffery has had multiple injuries that likely made teams scared to give him a long-term deal. Poe has been inconsistent for much of the past few years. Terrelle Pryor has just one season of experience, which hindered his ability to get a big deal. Teams are still willing to shell out big money for proven players, as we saw with guys like Kevin Zeitler, Riley Reiff, DeSean Jackson and Jason Pierre-Paul.

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