Some expected America’s Team to unleash a fleet of Brinks trucks at 12:01 a.m. on March 5. That they haven’t actually shows that they aren’t as different from the Patriots, philosophically, as a lot of people think.
“Everyone thinks Dallas is always going,’’ Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told me this week, as part of a story that led my Sunday NFL Notes. “But that’s really not true, if you look at our history. Other than when we had guys in when Bill (Parcells) was here, with (Jason) Ferguson and (Marco) Rivera and those guys (in 2005), if you really look at it, the way we’ve operated in free agency, it hasn’t been, ‘We’re going to be the first rattle out of the bag.’
“I personally think that’s when you overpay, because there’s so much competition for a guy. We’d rather wait and sit back, and that’s where we stand today.’’
And here’s another one from Jerry’s son: “We’ve got a really good young team and we’ve decided rather than keep money back and let some other guys go free, we liked the guys we paid, and we’d rather be paying these guys, the guys we knew. And in the uncapped year, the guys you’d have shots at had six years service, seven years service, and that’s really not where we want our focus, giving long-term deals to older players.”
Like their own players? Focusing on re-signing them? Not spending big on aging free agents? Sound familiar?
Really, the biggest difference is that the Cowboys got their big,
franchise-tag destined 2010 free agent, DeMarcus Ware, signed in
November, where the Patriots did it with Vince Wilfork in March.
These two franchises, to be sure, operate in very different fashion, have very different histories, and apply a different approach to some areas of their businesses. So I thought it was interesting, anyway, that they pretty much have mirrored each other in such an uncertain environment.