Of all the players that Cowboys fans could want, we hear Brandon Marshall’s name come up more than any other. The reasons are obvious. Big. Strong. Fast. 21 receptions in one game.
Marshall is also ripe for the picking as the Broncos only placed a first round tender on the stud receiver, practically begging another club to provide him with a one-way ticket out of Denver.
With Roy Williams struggling, why not give up a late first round pick for a player who would be dynamite outside opposite Miles Austin? The reasons are below.
1. Like T.O., Marshall would not take a back seat as a secondary option.
We recently detailed why T.O. would probably not respond well to being a complementary player in Dallas. The same is true of Marshall.
Would Marshall come in and automatically be the Cowboys’ number one receiver, or would it be Austin? It could be more of a 1A and 1B situation, but either way, Austin is too good to not continuously utilize.
Our inclination is that Marshall would want to see the bulk of the targets in the passing game. There just are not enough balls to go around to effectively satisfy Marshall, Austin, and Witten and maintain a dominant running game. Someone would be unhappy, and do we really want it to be players who have already put their heart into playing for the silver and blue?
2. In addition to yielding a first round pick, the Cowboys would also have to provide Marshall a long-term contract.
The Cowboys could only land Marshall by signing him to an offer sheet. That contract offer obviously has to have enough guaranteed money that Marshall will be willing to sign it.
After dishing out $45 million to Roy Williams and another big-time deal in the works for Austin, the Cowboys, surprisingly, will be a bit short on funds.
The organization could theoretically dump a huge portion of the contract into the 2010 uncapped season, but Jerry Jones is no fool. He has already stated the Cowboys have imposed a team-mandated salary cap for themselves.
Signing Austin long-term takes precedent over bringing in a guy like Marshall. After that happens, an offer to Marshall would mean the club would be investing well over $100 million in three wide receivers. Not exactly business-savvy.
3. Marshall does not fit the character profile of the current Cowboys’ players.
The Cowboys released T.O., Pacman Jones, Tank Johnson, and Greg Ellis last offseason. There was a method to their madness. The current roster is composed of 53 stand-up, intelligent, high-character guys.
This is not to say that Marshall cannot be those things, but he has proven that he can become a bit of a distraction at times. There is no way that Jerry, influenced by his son Stephen, will be able to justify bringing in a possible trouble-maker.
Like it or not, this man is one of the main reasons the Cowboys will not sign a big-time free agent wide receiver in 2010.
4. Without a first round pick, the Cowboys would not be able to upgrade a more urgent position of need.
If the Cowboys do want to bolster the receiver spot, the draft is a great time to do it. Not only will it be less of a financial burden, but the team can also save their first-rounder by drafting dodging Marshall and drafting a receiver in the mid-to-late rounds.
Signing Marshall not only eats up a lot of cash, but it also erases the Cowboys’ ability to sign an impact player (perhaps an offensive lineman), in the first round. Instead, Dallas would have to wait until the 59th pick of the draft to upgrade either the offensive line, safety, or another position.
From the standpoint of a selfish fan, the draft without a first round pick, as we saw last year, can be quite monotonous.
5. No one is sure how hard Marshall will play once he obtains big money.
Marshall was a fourth-rounder out of UCF in the 2006 draft. Needless to say, his rookie contract wasn’t exactly Peyton Manning-type money.
Very talented players can alter their approach and overall mindset to football after cashing in, i.e. Jamarcus Russell. While Marshall does appear to have the proper work ethic intact to ensure that does not happen, you can never be sure.
At the very least, there does appear to be something about Marshall that makes it appear as though he is not as serious about the game of football as, say, Austin or Witten.
Marshall is certainly both an uncommon talent and a unique individual. He will undoubtedly help some team immensely–but that team us unlikely to be the Dallas Cowboys.
It isn’t that signing Marshall would be the worst thing in the world. Heck, it could even work out for the best. But operating a professional football team is about playing the percentages. At this time, Marshall is not a “high-percentage play” for Dallas.
For more Cowboys information visit DallasCowboysTimes.com