Defensive End Dilemma

Marcus Spears, Steven Bowen and Jason Hatcher are all becoming free agents this year. To lose them all would be a heck of a blow to a very stout D-line. Marcus Dixon , a two year practice squad vet who recently signed a reserve/futures contract, is the only valid backup. To understand what could happen with the free agents this year, you must first look at the compensation and salaries to be earned.

Four years of experience

Original pick compensation: $1.176 million

Second round tender: $1.759 million

First round tender: $2.521 million

First and third tender: $3.168 million

Five years of NFL experience

Original pick compensation: $1.226 million

Second round tender: $1.809 million

First round tender: $2.621 million

First and third round tender: $3.268 million

I believe it would be naive to think the Cowboys would simply ignore Spears and let him test the waters. The five year experience original pick compensation tender makes the most sense, since it would ensure the Cowboys a first round pick should someone sign him away and keep his salary relatively low. I know it’s a no-cap year, but Jerry most likely will be spending a little extra cash on eliminating a certain safety or o-lineman’s (or two) contract(s). I’m not naming names. You figure it out.

As for Hatcher and Bowen, I think that Bowen will receive a contract. Original pick compensation goes out the window for Bowen since he was a rookie free agent acquisition. Since Hatcher was a third round pick in ’06, it would make sense to stick the four year original draft pick compensation tender on him and let him walk for a third round pick from a team that needs 3-4 Defensive End help. Believe me, there are quite a few. A second round tender might be pushing it and Dallas might end up stuck with a higher paying contract than Spears. (Not Smart)

Letting Hatcher walk for a third round pick would give Dallas more ammo in the draft and also would allow Dixon to take his next step in the pros. I doubt he would last another year on the practice squad. It’s do or die time for him.

Olshansky remains under a very friendly contract and should remain in place at least for the next couple of years. I think we would all agree he did very well this year replacing Canty.

Comments
  1. Derek

    So if I read this correctly, you would let Hatcher walk for a third round compensation tender because of his lack of production, yet you think someone else would pony up a third round pick for a player who in your eyes has been less effective than Bowen? Hate to break it to you, but no one is going to give us a third round pick for a reserve defensive end. So give him the tender and bring him back.

  2. nate

    never said anything about lack of production, derek. now that he got a 2nd round tender and spears got an original draft pick comp. do you think someone wont throw a 2nd at spears (a 5 year starter) because the cowboys view him as not as good as our backups? there should be a run at spears very soon, or jerry might just be gauging interest in his services to see where the team will go at the position. btw a 3rd round pick for a reserve DE in a 3-4 that has starting potential is not unreasonable. especially with all the teams recently converting to a 3-4 and needing solid defensive ends.