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A potential target for the Cowboys in free agency, when it starts March 13, is New Orleans Saints guard Carl Nicks. Nicks would be an upgrade from the guards the Cowboys employed in 2011, yet there is still value in keeping veteran right guard Kyle Kosier and developing younger linemen Bill Nagy, Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin. Derrick Dockery and Montrae Holland, who also played some guard are free agents.

In 2011, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has one of the best seasons anyone at his position has ever enjoyed. He was even better when it really counted, down the stretch. From November through January, his stats were absolutely transcendent — 226 completions in 314 attempts (71.7 completion percentage) for 2,730 yards (8.69 yards per attempt), 27 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. That said, a competitor like Brees finds it hard to call any season that doesn’t end in a Super Bowl championship a complete success, and the Saints fell short.

With the season now in the rearview mirror – though some would say not far enough behind with wounds still open – we believe at WWLTV.com it’s time to hit on our yearly “roster check,” our assessment of who could or could not be with the club come training camp in July. We don’t think this will help close the wound that the playoff game opened. It might, in fact, open it more and for that we apologize.

The magnitude of the contract, the magnitude of his importance being the quarterback and the leader and the face of the franchise, all those things, if I had to rank them all, obviously he’d be No. 1,” Loomis told Varney. “In the import of those, he’d obviously rank No. 1.” Loomis has other tough decisions to make. Wide receiver Marques Colston, guard Carl Nicks and cornerback Tracy Porter are other high-profile free agents.

The statisticians are trying to bring mathematics and economics to decisions made on field strategy and player drafting. It’s called analytics and in many, but not all, ways it runs counter to decades of football philosophy. The numbers show that: Icing the kicker — calling a last-second timeout to put more pressure on him — doesn’t work. The cliche that defense wins championships is wrong. Top first-round draft picks are overvalued compared to picks a bit lower.  So says Tobias Moskowitz, a University of Chicago economics professor and co-author of the book “Scorecasting.”

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Tags: 2012 Nfl Pro Bowl Brandon Pettigrew Cameron Jordan Carl Nicks Colts Denver Broncos Drew Brees Gregg Williams Jack Del Rio Jacksonville Jaguars Marques Colston Mercedes-Benz Superdome Mickey Loomis New Orleans Saints NFL NFL News Oakland Raiders Peyton Manning San Francisco 49′ers Sean Payton Seattle Seahawks St. Louis Rams Steve Spagnuolo Tracy Porter Will Smith

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