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Mailbag: UFL signings just the cheaper move?


The last three seasons the Cowboys have signed players from spring leagues like the USFL and UFL. Do you think the team realizes it can get the same quality of talent for a cheaper price from the UFL? Or do they know something we don't know about these guys? Brandon Aubrey and KaVontae Turpin were excellent finds, and it gets me excited for these recent signings. But it's also hard to not feel like this was just the cheaper move.Nicholas Angyal/Beaverton, OR

Nick Eatman: Every year at training camp, the Cowboys are like every other team in that they're adding a few players at some point in camp to fill needs. When that happens, it's not easy to find players who are not only capable of getting the job done, but in shape. What I like about these moves is the players are football-ready because they've just played a season in the other league. Not only that, the Cowboys have signed players who excelled in those leagues so it seems like the best of the best. And even with that, you're getting a hungry player looking to prove why he should have been in the NFL all along. All of that, and he's, at the league minimum in salary. Trust me, the streak of getting XFL or USFL layers and turning them into All-Pros will run out. But even if they can make the team, it's a plus.

Patrik: Can't both things be true? Because they are. Yes, they're less expensive than many mid-level and higher NFL free agents and, sometimes, cheaper than mercenary veterans as well. It's also true, however, that the Cowboys have found a way to tap into the spring league in a way the other 31 teams have yet to figure out. All one can hope is their good fortunes, based largely in their ability to scout under Will McClay, continue with the signings of Willie Harvey Jr. and Gareon Conley because, as you noted, they're batting 1.000 in their first two attempts at grabbing spring league talent. Turpin and Aubrey were both Pro Bowlers as NFL rookies and the latter also set records en route to getting a First-Team All-Pro nod in Year 1, and I realistically don't know if anyone can follow that act. But if those who enter Dallas after Turpin and Aubrey can, at minimum, make an impact in multiple games then you have to count that as a win, and an added win when considering they cost pennies on the dollar. I'd still (also) prefer the Cowboys to play more in the first two waves of free agency, but at least they have some sort of plan instead of just winging it, I suppose.

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