Friday, July 1, 2011
Free agent outlook: Abram Elam
By Calvin Watkins
The final installment of our free agent series looks at strong safety Abram Elam, who was with the Cowboys in 2006. Elam finished the 2010 season with Cleveland and could be someone the Cowboys look at when the labor issues settle.
If Gerald Sensabaugh doesn't stick around, the Cowboys could target Abram Elam.
Why him?He's played for defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, and the front office and scouts know how he's improved his game from when he first entered the league. Elam was credited with 63 solo tackles, according to the Cleveland coaches' stats, and had 10 pass breakups, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. Elam is good against the run and can cover tight ends if needed. The biggest name among the free agents who play strong safety is Gerald Sensabaugh of the Cowboys. Sensabaugh is looking for a big contract, something the Cowboys might not be willing to pay. The team likes Sensabaugh but was slightly frustrated with his lack of coverage skills in 2010. There also seemed to be some communication issues in the secondary, and there was the brief skirmish with Terence Newman last year. The two quickly got over the incident. If the Cowboys pass on Sensabaugh, Elam appears to be one of their guys.
Is there anybody else?Quite a few names. The Cowboys could try to keep Sensabaugh. If not, the Eagles' Quintin Mikell is an interesting option, as is the Jets' Brodney Pool. From a financial standpoint, Baltimore's Dawan Landry and Sensabaugh are the most expensive selections on the market, followed by Mickell, Elam and Pool. The Ravens could re-sign Landry quickly once the market opens, leaving the others to entertain other teams.
Key stat:Sensabaugh was tied for the Cowboys team lead with five interceptions last season.