Will the Dallas Cowboys Try Terence Newman at Safety?

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The future of Dallas Cowboy Terence Newman has yet to be decided.  Most people believe that Newman has played his last game as a Dallas Cowboy.  One of our readers asks whether Newman may try a new position:

Jason MacDonald, Chicago:  Everyone is calling for Terence Newman to be released/cut. I don’t fully understand the salary cap ramifications of releasing him, but I assume it has to create more dead money. Do you think it makes any sense to try him at free safety?

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Johnathan Barger: Jason, do you remember how Terrence was hurdled twice by a 270lb man against the Giants? Do you really want that type of tackling to be your last line of defense in the secondary?  Switching old corners to play safety really only works on Madden.  Releasing him will cause more dead money, but that was what the Boy’s front office had in mind when they restructured Romo’s, Witten’s, Ware’s, Ratliff’s and Austin’s contracts.  They were making up for the dead money hit that came from releasing Columbo, Barber, and Williams, and spreading it out. Unfortunately, the large amount of dead money is going to partially hamstring this team at least for the next two years, but with smart acquisitions and smart extensions we can manage around the dead money and get back into the playoffs.

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Todd Toombs: Terence Newman will no doubt be cut if there is still anyone left in the Cowboy front office with any football sense.  He is scheduled to make $6MM, $7.6MM, and $7.5MM in the remaining 3 years of his contract after getting a base salary of $8MM in 2011.  That’s a million dollars more than Darelle Revis, the quintessential “shut down corner” made in 2011;  it is also $7MM more than Mike Jenkins was paid this year.  Anyone feel like they got their money’s worth on Newman?

I’m not a salary cap expert by any means, but I think cutting him will saddle the Cowboys with $6MM in “dead money” against the cap ($2MM per year for the remaining 3 years based on his prorated $12MM signing bonus in 2008). 

 Age has not been kind to Newman as his skills have evaporated almost right before our eyes.  At 33, he is too old and too slow to make a change to FS and he is undersized for a safety.  In the NFC East, the starting free safeties average 6’0” and 207 lbs.  At 5’10” and 192 lbs (probably rounded up a bit as most press guide measurements are), Newman would be too small even if he still had adequate speed and wasn’t injured so frequently – not to mention the fact that the last Giants game displayed his less than stellar tackling skills (high hurdles anyone?).  Thanks for the all too infrequent good years T-New, but it’s time to go.  Given no other alternative, I would rather watch a 24-year old Orlando Scandrick get burned regularly at a cost of only $1.7MM per year ($28.2MM over 6 years but only $10MM guaranteed).

Seth Jones: No. Our defense would be twice as bad if Terrence Newman were our safety. If can’t tackle a good book, much less a running back running with a full head of steam. Wait, actually, I read somewhere that he loves good books. Forget everything that I just said. Except for the part about him sucking at safety. I don’t think that we need to CUT him. But we need to find someone to replace him. He’d add depth to the roster. And that’s a good thing.

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