Sept 16, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett talks with quarterback Tony Romo (9) during player introductions against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Restructuring Instead Of Cutting Shows Cowboys Still Don't Get It


Oct 28, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) runs with the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

NFL teams that are trying to get to a SuperBowl, or at least stay in the hunt, are making hard choices.  Teams are cutting players that are still relevant.  The New York Giants cut veteran starters – Michael Boley, Chris Canty and Ahmad Bradshaw and they aren’t done.  The Atlanta Falcons cut long time Falcons – Michael Turner, Dunta Robinson and even their best pass rusher, John Abraham.  The Dallas Cowboys cut… wait… no, they ‘restructured’ players instead of cutting them.

The Cowboys did get under the cap by restructuring Miles Austin, Brandon Carr, DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten, Ryan Cook and Phil Costa.  They also plan to restructure Jay Ratliff’s and Tony Romo’s contract soon.  They got under the cap which was their goal, but did they get any better?

The Giants have been to a couple SuperBowls with the players they cut and the Falcons came within a touchdown of going to this year’s SuperBowl with the players they let go of.  The Cowboys?  Well the Cowboys missed the playoffs for the 3rd straight year with the players they kept and restructured.  Hhmmm.

Obviously, Carr, DWare and Witten are keepers, but can you tell me the same about  Costa or Cook?  Of course not.  What about Ratliff or Austin? The answer to that is also no.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Cowboys should arbitrarily cut players that are at or just past their prime simply to clear cap space, but just keep that option on the table.  Players like Miles Austin know by now that, at least for the Cowboys, it takes more than not performing up to your contract to get cut.  What does that show the rest of the players?  Or, what does it say to Tony Romo that you are keeping Phil Costa or are considering keeping Doug Free and moving him to Guard?

Not one offensive lineman on the Dallas Cowboys, except maybe – maybe – Tyron Smith, should be close to assured of being on this roster after how poorly they protected the franchise QB.  I tell you what, regardless of all the talk to the contrary by the Jones’ and Jason Garrett, the Cowboys are not Romo friendly.  How bad could it possibly be to cut some of these guys and take your chances in the draft or free agency?  What is Jerry afraid of ? Is he afraid that if he cuts the likes of Ratliff or Austin that the Cowboys might go 8 – 8 and miss the playoffs?

Jerry and Stephen Jones should look at how teams like the Giants and Falcons work their rosters.  Letting go of veteran starters, especially ones that are not ‘core’ players, doesn’t guarantee that these teams will improve.  But what does keeping  players hoping they will play up to their potential, or are afraid of not being able to replace, guarantee?

What is it they say about doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result?

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys DeMarcus Ware Jerry Jones Tony Romo

  • billy

    thats jerry the gm. he has so little confidence in his ability to draft or pick free agents that he is afraid to let anyone go because he at least knows what he has in the guys already on the team. its hard to believe someone as rich as jerry wont hire someone to help him evaluate talent. i know he has a coaching staff and scouts there but he dosent seem to believe what they tell him about players. i think he wants to make a pick that so dazzles the football world that the draft will stop and take a day or two to just focus on jerry himself and wonder at his intelligence and football acumen let him smile for the cameras and talk about what a wonderous pick he has made. how he outsmarted all the other teams with his trades up and down then deftly makes the grand pick of all the draft. of course then do it again in the following rounds. he wants to bask in the glory of championship after championship carrying the team on his back as he continues to confound pro football with his profound moves. everyone else in the world knows its not going to happen but he keeps hoping while he ruins his team for himself and every fan because he dosent know a football player from a horse jockey.

  • http://twitter.com/OldFrog75 Old Frog

    Agreed. I would have cut or traded Austin, Ratliff, Costa, Livings, and Free. I would even cut Romo for the right price, but I would keep Spencer. I’ve said it many times before, I’d rather go 2 and 14 than 9 and 7.

  • californy

    JJ think he may be the next George Steinbrenner, the only problem is the NFL has a real salary cap. At one time the boys use to build through the draft, but in JJ genius he tries to build through FA and with many of his own picks to. It no wonder every year we have Cap issue because other than the name there is nothing Free about the Free agent market.

  • californy

    Free Agency should be look like this, Spencer contract of 10.8 million is like having 4 drafted player in the last of the first rd with salary of 2.7 million dollar each

  • Brent Phillips

    JJ isn’t afraid of the draft nor free agency He a stubborn old fool with a ego larger than the state of TX. He figures that he pick these players and letting them go is tantamount to admitting failure.