I’m sure we have all watched over the last week as the 2010 Free Agent class has made their rounds. Some teams have made a splash like Chicago signing Julius Peppers and Chester Taylor. Other teams have been quiet like our very own Dallas Cowboys. I like how Jerry Jones has approached Free Agency. He’s letting things settle down before he starts making some phone calls. I read on DallasNews.com that Jones is getting ready to schedule some visits with some players, although no names were mentioned.
I’ve had my eye on a few players that are still available and that could really help the Cowboys in areas that they need.
The Redskins made a mistake in my opinion when they released kick returner Rock Cartwright. This is one area the Cowboys need to improve. Cartwright will give the Cowboys that return threat that is needed. Here are his numbers the last four seasons…
2009 – 39 kickoffs for 868 yards and a 22.3 yard average.
2008 – 51 kickoffs for 1,307 yards and a 25.6 yard average.
2007 – 52 kickoffs for 1,339 yards and a 25.8 yard average.
2006 – 64 kickoffs for 1,541 yards and a 24.1 yard average with 1 TD.
The Cowboys top kick returner for 2009 was Felix Jones who returned 30 kickoffs for 678 yards. Back in 2008 it was Miles Austin as the Cowboys top kickoff returner with 29 returns for 624 yards.
What does all this mean? It means we need to go out and sign Rock Cartwright. He will greatly improve the return game and it will also save two very important pieces to the Cowboys offense in Felix Jones and Miles Austin. As fast as Felix Jones is I never liked the idea of him returning kicks due to risk of injury.
My second Free Agent signing would be Neil Rackers who has been kicking for the Cardinals since 2003 and has been in the league since 2000 when he was with the Bengals. With Nick Folk being released in 2009 and then Shaun Suisham not performing all that well. It’s time to sign a quality kicker. There have been reports that the Cowboys would like David Buehler to try kicking field goals, but things also don’t sound convincing as far as his accuracy. Neil Rackers has been a dependable kicker over the years as you can see below..
2009 – 16 out of 17 attempts. 48 long.
2008 – 25 out of 28 attempts. 54 long.
2007 – 21 out of 30 attempts. 52 long.
2006 – 28 out of 37 attempts. 50 long.
2005 – 40 out of 42 attempts. 54 long.
2004 – 22 out of 29 attempts. 55 long.
The signing of Neil Rackers would also greatly improve the kicking game. Add to it that with Buehler handling the kickoffs it will save Rackers leg for just field goal attempts.
With Rock Cartwright and Neil Rackers being added to the Cowboys already talented roster, it will go a long way to where the Cowboys want to be. I just hope the Cowboys are thinking the same thing before other teams sign these two players.