Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 3/10/12
We all saw how the New York Giants' defensive line dominated during their Super Bowl run. The Giants used waves of high-end pass rushers to overwhelm quarterbacks and disrupt game plans. Could the Cowboys do the same? The Cowboys already have the NFL's premier pass rusher in DeMarcus Ware. Mario Williams is out there, waiting to be taken in free agency The idea is tempting. It isn't often that an elite pass rusher is available in free agency, but the Texans opted to not put the franchise tag on Williams. Sure, it would be fun to watch quarterbacks' knees rattle as they go under center with Ware on one side and Williams on the other. Who would you double-team? Protect the blind side? Every side would be a blind side with those two predators bearing down on their prey. Having both Ware and Williams would also help a beleaguered Cowboys secondary. It's kind of difficult for a quarterback to spot receivers downfield with his head on a constant swivel. The Cowboys will have cap room to spend in free agency. By some estimates, it could be as much as 16-18 million. Other estimates have Williams snaring a contract that would pay him 14 million or more, with a healthy signing bonus of as much as 30 million. So the Cowboys could maybe, possibly, perhaps fit Williams under their cap and pair him with Ware as the most fearsome pair of edge rushers since, well, maybe in NFL history. Yet the Cowboys have so many needs in other areas, and they've already made a significant investment at outside linebacker this off-season. Putting the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer all but precludes the Cowboys from loading any more dollars into that position. Spencer will make 8.8 million this season and Ware will make a base of 4.5 million. They put the money into Spencer, rather than let him become a free agent, because it's cheaper and less risky to overpay Spencer than to try to replace him. Lose Spencer, and the Cowboys will probably have to use their first-round pick on another outside linebacker instead of a desperately-needed cornerback or offensive lineman. Even if the Cowboys put all their chips into signing Williams, there's no guarantee they will get him. Other teams with cap room such as the Bears and Bucs, could be just as desperate to sign him. As for keeping up with the Giants, the reason they have so many good pass rushers is they can afford them. Osi Umenyiora makes a base of 3.9 million, Justin Tucker makes 3.7 million and Jason Pierre-Paul makes a mere 825,00. Tackle Chris Canty, the former Cowboy, makes the most of the Giants' defensive linemen at 6 million base. Canty is an example of how free agency can drive up a player's salary. Unless the Cowboys have an "in" with Williams, it's unlikely they will get him at anything less than market value. That would all but cripple the team's ability to address other areas. Still, it's hard to argue against acquiring an elite talent like Williams, a former No. 1 overall draft pick. He's not a franchise quarterback, but a feared pass-rusher is the next best thing. The Cowboys may never get a chance to draft a player of Williams' talent. The Cowboys would be remiss if they didn't at least make a run at Williams. They just have to make sure it's a race they can win without costing them the whole track meet. Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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