The inevitable happened Tuesday when long-time cornerback Terence Newman was released. Along with the release was a collective sigh of relief from Cowboys fans around the country. We all saw it coming, and yet who knew if the front office was going to make the correct decision and release Newman. We’ve been taken by surprise in the past. At the same time it’s always striking to me when a player that has been with the organization since they were drafted hits the trail. I guess it’s just the dumb kid in me that thinks players that have played good for the Cowboys in the past would spend their entire career with the team . So in turn it was hard for the kid in me to see him go, whereas the smarter version of myself knew the release was for the best.Newman played well for quite a while and served as the number-one corner on the roster during the majority of his stay here. What I am getting at is even though we’re all relieved to see owner and general manager Jerry Jones make the right decision for the good of the team, we still shouldn’t say good riddance to him. Here’s a few reasons why.
In a league of more draft busts than quality players, Newman served as a stalwart in the secondary that has seen quite a few different players come and go during his nine-year tenure. He’s had his share of injuries, especially in the last few years, but for the most part he was there and doing his job.
In the last nine years Newman has been able to cover some of the best recievers. This skill obviously has been deteriorating as of late, but when he was called upon to shadow one guy for the entire game, he played well and usually didn’t give up too much to the opposing reciever. He’ll never be know as a lock-down corner, and I don’t believe there are very many of them in existence anymore, but for three or four years during his prime Newman scared opposing quarterbacks away from throwing in his direction. Just think how many more yards and touchdowns “Cowboy killer” Santana Moss would have had if Newman wasn’t asked to be in his back pocket every time Washington and Dallas met. Some of Newman’s best games came when he was called on to cover Moss. It was never perfect, by any means, but Newman kept the team from bleeding-out twice a year.
Along with his ability to shadow his opponent for the game, Newman was always willing and able to pick up the slack when needed. He could play on the outside or in the slot, and when called upon to return kicks he stepped up and did his job.
Newman has recorded 542 tackles, 32 interceptions (3 of which returned for TDs), and 112 pass breakups in his career with the Cowboys. Along with that he’s been to two Pro Bowls. None of these numbers are going to get him the Hall of Fame, or even in the Cowboys’ ring of honor, but he shouldn’t be thrown to the curb and cursed on his way out like most fans do to players that have deteriorated along the way. The game of football is a rough one, and no player can perform at a high level forever. So maybe I’m the only one that feels like Newman made the Cowboys a better team for a lot of years, and for that I’m grateful.