Now a week into free agency, the Cowboys have to be pleased with what they've accomplished.
Help on the offensive line? Check. Dallas signed veteran Jason Fabini for immediate help at right tackle and Kyle Kosier at guard.
Depth at linebacker? Check. Jacksonville LB Akin Ayodele, while not the biggest name available, gives the Cowboys a solid starter that can play either inside or out.
Replacement for blocking tight end Dan Campbell? No problem. The Cowboys signed Seattle's former fan-favorite, Ryan Hamman to a multi-year deal just two days ago.
Big time wide receiver? Check. You can't get any bigger than Terrell Owens. A dynamic playmaker that should give every defensive coordinator in the NFC nightmares in coming seasons.
Kicker? Wait a second. Eight days into free agency, Dallas has remained patient in signing a quality veteran kicker. In fact, the organization has been so patient, that is has yet to sign anyone, or bring anyone in for a visit for that matter.
While top targets Matt Bryant (Tampa Bay) and Ryan Longwell (Minnesota) signed with other teams, the Cowboys continued to "stay the course."
And now, with just a handful of quality prospects still available, the team has a serious decision to make.
Pay arguably the top kicker in the league, Adam Vinatieri the most money ever given to a kicker, or look for a bargain somewhere else- possibly with Seattle restricted free agent Josh Brown, or Indianapolis Colts' kicker Mike Vanderjagt.
Knowing how owner Jerry Jones likes to spend his money when it comes to kickers, it's safe to assume (for now) that he's looking to save a few bucks.
That means the Cowboys will likely remain patient in their search, either hoping that Vinatieri can somehow be signed for much less considering he wants a change of scenery, or that one of above-mentioned specialists can be obtained for a price deemed "reasonable."
However, don't be surprised if Dallas waits to see if a new name will surface.
Who could it be? For the answer, look southward in the AFC.
The Miami Dolphins are once again trying to restructure the contract of their veteran kicker- Olindo Mare. And Mare, one of the league's top kickers when it comes to handling kickoffs, is upset that the team is trying to cut his salary for the second time in three years.
That has led the Dolphins to explore other options this off-season, including the possibility of replacing Mare altogether. In fact, Miami brought in Mike Vanderjagt just last week for a visit.
Mare, who is represented by Drew Rosenhaus, would be an attractive target for obvious reasons.
One, he has one of the strongest legs in the National Football League. Two, he's a 10-year veteran that made 25-of-30 field goals last year (83%) with a long of 53 yards- not bad considering what the Cowboys went through at the same time. And three, he would come at the price of almost half of what Adam Vinatieri is looking for.
Of course, right now he's under contract with Miami through 2009, which means Dallas would have to wait for the Dolphins to settle on a new kicker and release Mare in order to sign him.
But considering all the other options available, that may not be such a bad idea.
Dallas has contacted K Josh Brown, a restricted free agent, within the last few days, but keep in mind Seattle would have seven days to match any offer extended by another team in an effort to keep him.
Dallas would also have to part ways with a seventh round draft pick to get Brown out of Seattle.
Mike Vanderjagt's agent has already contacted the Cowboys, but interest on Dallas' part has been minimal up to this point.
Other options, such as Atlanta's Todd Peterson or former Minnesota kicker Paul Edinger, don't appear to be much better than the Shawn Suizham-Billy Cundiff-Jose Cortez combination a year ago.
That leaves the Cowboys in a holding pattern, waiting to see who may come available to solve their kicking woes of a year ago.
Cowboys Waiting for Their Kicker?
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