IRVING, Texas -- Part 1 of the Dallas Cowboys' Twitter mailbag is ready.
In it we discuss:
The free agency approach
Rolando McClain's future
Sean Lee's rehab
Away we go:
Given the lower cap hit to franchise a RB and volatility of the position why won't Dallas tag Murray & lock up Dez long term? #cowboysmail— Cody O'Dell (@codytravisodell) January 28, 2015
@toddarcher: I received a few inquiries on the franchise and transition tag this week. First, you can't use both. You can use just the franchise or just the transition, so that takes one option away. The franchise tag numbers haven't been set yet, so we will have to go with some guesses. The receiver tag figures to be about $12.5-$13.5 million; the running back tag could be about $11 million. The transition tags will be lower. The Cowboys want to lock up Bryant to a long-term deal, but they aren't about to just give him everything he wants. There is a negotiation that has to happen. Something could happen before March, but I highly doubt it. I've said since last summer that Bryant is destined for the franchise tag. Why not tag Murray? Well, that is $11 million against the cap this year. It's entirely doable, but not the wisest allocation, especially if they would go to $15 million on guaranteed money on a long-term deal. I'm just throwing that number out there as a guesstimate. Maybe the transition tag would make some more sense, but there is compensation due if they choose not to match an offer made by another team.
@toddarcher: Let me answer this a couple of different ways: If you're waiting for the Cowboys to make big moves in free agency, like signing a big-name player, I think you will be waiting a long time. The big moves will be in attempting to keep their own guys, like Bryant and Murray and a few others. Personally, I think the best way to go about free agency is to do what they did last year: sign smaller deals with a number of guys to fill some holes leading into the draft. I'd put guys like Nick Hayden, Anthony Spencer and maybe even a Cole Beasley or Dwayne Harris into this category.
@toddarcher: I guess there are different levels of "legit effort" to ponder, but I think the Cowboys make a bid to keep Rolando McClain. It's difficult to conjure up a comparison to help zero in on the contract, so maybe it takes a little bit of time. He is a difference-maker for the defense, but there are questions about him, especially his health. Was it a product of sitting out of the game for so long? I think an offseason program will really benefit him. Based on what he said at the end of the season, I believe he wants to come back. He knows he has a good thing with the Cowboys. The coaches know him and his quirks. Jason Garrett has the Nick Saban seal of approval, so that helps. But I'm not so sure the Cowboys break the bank to keep him.
@toddarcher: Beasley is often compared to Welker because they are short by NFL standards. Before that, the same comparison was made between Welker and Danny Amendola, who also had Texas Tech ties. I don't believe Beasley is the next Welker. It's not an ability issue. Beasley is talented. But their games are a little different. Welker has a more compact build and has shown he can make plays outside. Beasley has a slighter build and has been an asset in the slot. I don't want this to come off as a knock on Beasley. I think the Cowboys should sign him to a multi-year deal soon. But he won't get the opportunities Welker got in Miami, New England, and Denver to catch 100 passes in a season. Not with Bryant. Not with Jason Witten. Not with the Cowboys wanting to run the ball more. But Beasley can be a valuable part of the offense the way Welker has been for his teams.
@toddarcher: From what I've been told, everything is coming along fine. It was a little slow in the beginning, but the hope is that he will be able to take part in the offseason program and do at least some of the organized team activities and minicamp. I can see a scenario in which the Cowboys limit him somewhat in the spring so he doesn't overdo it. Lee will always try to do more. It's just his nature. The Cowboys will want to make sure he is building throughout so he's ready for Week 1 of the regular season, and not just thinking about getting back this spring. Lee has gone through an ACL rehab before, so he knows the steps necessary to get back on the field.