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Derrick Henry Taking Calls; Cowboys View RB As 'Not Within Our Means'?!

Derrick Henry Taking Calls; Dallas Cowboys View RB As 'Not Within Our Means'?!
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FRISCO - As Tony Pollard heads out the door at The Star to instead go "home'' - the Dallas Cowboys' starting running back and Memphis native is using NFL free agency to sign with the Tennessee Titans - "America's Team'' could nevertheless create an upgrade at the position ...

But for one problem ...

While the most Tier 1 of the Tier 1 running backs, Saquon "Sickening'' Barkley, has jumped quickly off the shelf (he's signing with the Eagles in a double-defeat for Dallas), and while Josh Jacobs has also moved (to the Packers), and with Austin Ekeler now moving to the Commanders, Derrick Henry, as we write this, is still taking calls.

We know the Baltimore Ravens have been on the phone. 

And what do we suspect about the Cowboys and Henry? The same thing we've been reporting all along: That despite the need, and the respect, and even the fact that he's long owned an offseason home in DFW ... Dallas is now viewing the pursuit of the 30-year-old two-time NFL rushing champ as a priority.


If Henry sits on the shelf for a while longer? We will let you know about a possible Dallas change of mindset. There has been talk that Baltimore will offer Henry a two-year, $20 million deal; that we do not know, though it would be a pay cut for Henry, who's coming off a $12.5 million season in Tennessee.

But that sort of number is not a consideration for the Cowboys, and here's the damning part of it: The aforementioned "mindset'' can be summed up in three ugly words, as relayed by NFL Network's Jane Slater.

The Cowboys, she's been told, are "shopping within means.''

Shopping. Within. Means.

That is of course the opposite of "all in,'' as it paints a picture of a Cowboys front office changing nothing about his decade-long belief in avoiding paying premium prices for premium players who aren't homegrown.

Is the approach automatically wrong? No.

Has the approach - if the goal is to compete for a Super Bowl - worked? No.

Henry is coming off a productive year. Henry rushed for 1,167 yards on 280 carries and scored 12 touchdowns. His average yards per carry last year was 4.2, down from his career average of 4.7, but that could be due to a down season for the Titans' offensive line as much as anything.

He's a player who could help Dallas win. The Cowboys can afford him, if they choose to. He merits a phone call. ... Oh, and because he's right here in town, the Cowboys don't even have to spent the money to call long-distance!