The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, marking the veteran’s 14-season with the team. Although this is certainly great news for special teams players like punter Chris Jones and place kicker Dan Bailey, it is not exactly the type of exciting move that Cowboy fans are yearning to hear.
As other NFC teams like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Arizona, Green Bay, Washington, and the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles made moves during the free agent period to bolster their teams, the Cowboys have been quiet as a collection of free agents have left the team without any splashy moves to replenish a roster that posted the NFL’s best record just two seasons ago.
Linebacker Anthony Hitchens left for the Chiefs, and fullback Keith Smith signed on to play for Jon Gruden in Oakland, while veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick was released to help save money.
A big focus for the team was to sign star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to a long-term deal and avoid a franchise tag. The two groups could not come to an agreement, and Lawrence was placed under the tag earlier in the month.
According to Archer, the Cowboys did attempt to land free agent wide receiver Sammy Watkins but missed out as Watkins felt that the Chiefs were a better fit. Clarence Hill of the Star-Telegram reports that the team was interested in trading for veteran safety Earl Thomas from Seattle, with the deal eventually falling through because the asking price from the Seahawks included first and third round picks, a price deemed too high by Jerry Jones and the Dallas front office.
Cap constraints continue to plague the team, with Dallas ranked 29th out of 32 teams with just over $8-million in cap room according to sportrac.com. Releasing wide receiver Dez Bryant was a move rumored to be an option that Stephen and Jerry Jones were considering to give the team $6.5 million more dollars to spend in other areas, but as of today, it appears as though that is not going to happen.
Linebacker, fullback, and defensive backs are three positions that the Cowboys will need to address this offseason, with the former being a significant area of concern with Kyle Wilber joining Hitchens as free agent signings with other teams, and all-pro Sean Lee is always a risk for injury. The question is will there be enough value left on the market with the Cowboys playing it slow, or will the Jones brain trust look solely to the draft to improve the roster?