East Notes: Cowboys, McCloughan, Wilkerson

After losing DeMarco Murray to the Eagles, the Cowboys will have more financial flexibility the rest of the offseason. However, Rainer Sabin of the Dallas Morning News does not believe the team will be especially aggressive during the remainder of the free agency period. Executive vice president Stephen Jones, echoing his sentiments from last season, said that the team will be “efficient” in free agency, and Sabin has no reason to doubt him.

Indeed, letting Murray go is reflective of the team’s overall philosophy, as Sabin writes in a separate piece. Although Dallas would have liked to bring Murray back, it was not going to break the bank to re-sign him, given the other needs that need to be addressed. Furthermore, the Cowboys have allowed a few of their stronger defensive contributors to depart in their renewed commitment to build through the draft and to stay away from the disappointment that often accompanies highly-lucrative contracts. And assuming they do continue their “efficient” approach to the rest of the offseason, they should be able to net several valuable compensatory selections in next year’s draft.

Now for some more links from the league’s east divisions:

  • Speaking of changing philosophies, Mike Jones of the Washington Post describes how new Washington GM Scot McCloughan has adhered to the plan he laid out at the beginning of the offseason: draft and build your own and re-sign your own, while wisely addressing any remaining gaps in free agency. Jones points out that McCloughan has made a number of solid but largely unheralded moves while staying away from the big-ticket items that would have filled a need but that would have handicapped the team’s salary cap.
  • Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes that the Giants still have a number of first-unit spots to fill, but most of their efforts to address those needs in free agency have been thwarted. Schwartz writes that the team will likely have to wait until the draft to fill its remaining holes on the offensive line and at pass rusher, but he says the Giants must sign a starting safety, even though the most appealing options are off the board.
  • Brian Costello of the New York Post applauds what new Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has accomplished this offseason, and he looks at what Maccagnan has left to do. At this point, any moves in free agency will be necessary but low-key depth signings, and the expectation is that an extension for star defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson will get done this spring.
  • To truly make their offseason a resounding success, Gary Myers of the New York Daily News believes the Jets should do whatever it takes to land Marcus Mariota in the draft.
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