Cowboys free-agent debate: Sterling Moore

With 20 players set to be restricted or unrestricted free agents, the Dallas Cowboys will have plenty of decisions to make on who to keep and who to let go.

Let’s take a look at the free agents to be and how they could fit into the Cowboys’ future:

Cornerback Sterling Moore

Type: Restricted

What he did: Moore shored up the third cornerback role for most of the year, starting when Orlando Scandrick was suspended for the first two games and continuing when Morris Claiborne suffered a season-ending knee injury. While he did not have an interception, he did lead the Cowboys with 14 pass deflections in the regular season to go with 49 tackles, according to the coaches’ breakdown, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. The Cowboys righted their wrong of cutting him in 2013 in favor of B.W. Webb by bringing him back later that season, and he rewarded their move with a solid 2014.

What he could do: Because Moore has shown the ability to play outside and inside, he brings a lot of versatility to the defense and allows the coaches to match up their top corners, like Scandrick, on top receivers all over the field. A nickel corner is like a 12th starter because of how many snaps he plays during the course of a game. Moore might get overexposed if he were to play every down, but he competes well and knows how to keep himself in good positions. He will not take unnecessary risks.

What it should cost: The Cowboys can tender Moore a deal worth $1.5 million as a restricted free agent or attempt to get him to re-sign at a lower price. In all likelihood, they will give him the $1.5 million tender because of the importance of a third (or even fourth) cornerback in any defense. Because he was an undrafted free agent, the Cowboys would not receive any compensation in return if he signed an offer sheet elsewhere.

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