Dallas Cowboys: Melvin Bullitt

CBA proposal would deepen safety pool

June, 23, 2011
The proposal to allow unsigned players with four and five years of service to be unrestricted free agents isn't good news for the Cowboys, as we discussed Tuesday.

First and foremost, it'd make re-signing left tackle Doug Free more difficult, or at least more expensive. Ditto for defensive ends Stephen Bowen and Jason Hatcher.

However, there would be a silver lining at Valley Ranch.

The pool at safety, a primary position of need, would become significantly deeper. San Diego's Eric Weddle, Chicago's Danieal Manning and Indianapolis' Melvin Bullitt are among the safeties who would have been restricted under last year's rules but would be free to test the open market under the new proposal.

Weddle would arguably be the best available safety. Manning (Corsicana) and Bullitt (Garland Naaman Forest) are quality starters with local roots.

Even if the Cowboys didn't sign one of those guys, their availability would deepen the pool at safety and increase the odds of the Cowboys signing a quality player to plug into the starting lineup.

NFL gives grants for free camps

June, 23, 2010
The NFL Youth Football Fund announced it will award $600,000 to 150 NFL players and coaches to support free youth football camps.

Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett (Princeton, N.J. July 18) and tight end Jason Witten (Elizabethton, Tenn. June 26) have upcoming camps that were part of a large group of players and coaches where received the money.

Running back Felix Jones, who holds an annual camp in his hometown of Tulsa on Memorial Day Weekend, also received some funds. His came was May 29.

Locally, the Colts Melvin Bullitt hosts a camp in Garland that starts July 17 and the Broncos Ryan McBean does one in Euless begining July 17.

The camps across the country will reach an estimated 40,000 football players.

The NFL and the NFL Youth Football Fund has awarded more than $2.5 million in player and coach camp grants the last few years.

And the YFF is working with USA Football to offer coaches affiliated with the 2010 NFL Player & Coaches Football Camp Grant programs a free, online health and safety resource.

Free agent series: Safety

March, 4, 2010
We are nearing the end of our free agent series. Today we check out the safeties.

Gerald Sensabaugh
Larry French/Getty ImagesThe Cowboys aren't sure Gerald Sensabaugh is worth a long-term deal.
The Cowboys have two safeties, Gerald Sensabaugh and Pat Watkins, who are restricted free agents.

Should they keep them? Yes, especially Sensabaugh.

What should they pay? Kevin Conner, Sensabaugh's agent, said this week he would like a long-term deal for his client, and the Cowboys have expressed an interest there. But the Cowboys might feel slightly burned by what they did with free safety Ken Hamlin.

He signed a one-year contract in 2007 and compiled career-highs in tackles (102), pass breakups (14) and interceptions (five). Hamlin was rewarded with a six-year, $39 million deal with a $9 million signing bonus.

But Hamlin has been average the last two seasons, and now it appears his status with the team is in doubt. Of Hamlin's $5.596 million base salary, $1.09 million is guaranteed. But if you get rid of Hamlin, who replaces him? Alan Ball filled in for four games while Hamlin recovered from a high-ankle sprain.

The Cowboys don't want to face the same situation with Sensabaugh. The best thing, at least for now, is to give him a second-round tender of $1.809 million or a first-round tender of $2.621 million.

Watkins is a trusted special teams player who has never moved from backup to starter. Dallas could let Watkins go, espeically with several young players on the roster who could push for more playing time, which could come on special teams.

If Watkins gets a tender, it could be a second-rounder at $1.759 million or possibly a minimum deal.

Who is out there? If the Cowboys release Hamlin, drafting one is a strong possibility. However there are some free agents out there, including Bryan Scott, Sean Jones, Melvin Bullitt and former Cowboy Abram Elam.