Cowboys Mailbag | Last games as Cowboys?
(Editor’s Note: Each day we will take the 2 best questions for our staff writers to answer from the Mailbag. “Click here” to email questions now.)
HARLEY STEPHENS – BIRMINGHAM, AL: Who do you think is most likely playing in their last game as a Cowboy on Sunday?
Nick: That’s a good question. I think we’ve got several candidates there. But if I had to guess, I’d say Barber, Roy, Colombo, Davis, Brooking, Hatcher, Barron, Newman and Sensabaugh are all possibilities. While it’s a long shot, I guess you can put Buehler’s name in there as well, considering he will have to win the job outright next year.
Rob: Marcus Spears very well could have played his last game as a Cowboy back on Nov. 7, when he suffered a season-ending calf injury. The Cowboys have three defensive ends scheduled to be free agents – Spears, Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher – and it just seems unlikely that all three will be back. I look at Spears like Chris Canty a couple of years ago – they like him, but are they willing to outbid for him?
Josh: Well, Jerry Jones did promise more changes than usual coming this offseason. The ones I’m most sure about are Roy Williams and Marion Barber, neither of whom is anywhere close to matching their contracts with production, and neither of whom give any reason to believe they’ll turn things around.
CHRIS ARNOLD – WAKEFIELD, MA: With a kicker like Shayne Graham possibly becoming available at the end of the season, why sign Kris Brown, with his subpar 77.3 percent average? This feels like another knee jerk to me, at a position that requires stability.
Nick: This is absolutely a free look. It costs them nothing to have Brown drive over from Southlake, Texas to be here. He gets one game of the veteran minimum salary to be here all offseason and training camp. The Cowboys didn’t want to try and outbid anyone for Brown. Just sign him and get him here. If they like someone like Graham, they can always change it later. Kickers don’t need to learn the playbook. They can be changed out quickly. But I think this also sends a message to Buehler and everyone else about competition battles next year.
Rob: You answered your own question. A guy like Graham “possibly” could become a free agent. Who knows when the Cowboys could start negotiating with other teams’ free agents due to the CBA situation, so they got a veteran right now. The bottom line is there just aren’t many David Akers out there. Kickers are just about all inconsistent. Buehler has been, Brown has been and Shayne Graham too, or he wouldn’t have been on three teams in the last 12 months.
Josh: Two words: Mike Vanderjagt. There’s no guarantees that Shayne Graham or Kris Brown or Davis Buehler or Lou Groza will be consistent, especially when you consider the troubles the Cowboys have had at kicker for the last decade. I think their best shot at stability is to stick with Buehler. At least his touchbacks are going to be there, and you have to think he’s going to continue to grow.