The fans in Cowboy Nation are getting fed up already with the Dallas front office not being aggressive on the first day of free agency. The proof is the constant shuffling around of contracts being reworked. In the last two weeks, the Cowboys have reworked or released nine different players contracts.
A breakdown of each is as follows:
- Dallas saved $3 million dollars by the release of Dan Connor. Connor was not used enough in my opinion; he came on late in the season as injuries decimated the defense. Was he worth a restructure? I think he would have been but of course all parties involved have to agree.
- The team did restructure the contracts of Jay Ratliff, Orlando Scandrick, and Mackenzy Bernadeau. I would have released Scandrick despite just saving around $2 million dollars. Restructuring Ratliff and Bernadeau’s contracts were good ideas. Bernadeau has versatility in being able to play both center and guard, considering the injury bug that hit last season he is a keeper. Ratliff was on his way to a good season until the tragic car accident occurred; he has a lot of recovery to go through not only physical but emotional. He will need his Cowboy family so good move by the front office.
- Dallas used a clause in Brandon Carr’s contract that saved the team $10.8 million dollars in cap room. I would put a clause very similar to this in all the contracts which simply states, if the team needs the cap room here is your estimated salary.
- Demarcus Ware is not only a team leader on the field but off as well, having his contract restructured for the betterment of the team is what it is all about. His restructuring helped with $4 million dollars in cap breathing room.
- Miles Austin also restructured his contract providing $3 million dollars in cap space.
- Jason Witten saved the team $3.65 million with a restructuring of his contract as well.
- Ryan Cook also reworked his deal, he was due $1.1 million this season from his 2 year $2.1 million dollar contract he signed in 2012.
The Cowboys now have lost TE John Phillips to the San Diego Chargers, so finding a quality backup for an aging Jason Witten should be a priority. Keeping Phillips wouldn’t have been a bad thing, he was a productive but he was having injury issues that probably prompted the rush to sign him. Hurting his ankle in early August and then having shoulder surgery in late January did not help his case to stay with the team.
One player that the Cowboys could get away with and I have been saying should be released is Doug Free. Free is set to make $7 million dollars this season. Considering how the Cowboys management is restructuring just about everyone’s contract anyway, why not restructure the “Penalty King” as well. I would have released him now so we could have the money to spend on several players but Jerry Jones and company do not see it that way. Keeping the mediocre players, hoping they are a diamond in the rough despite their poor play already demonstrated is why our fans will continue to see a less than stellar team coming out of the gate for the 2013 season. With very little cap room to sign players, our fans can continue to expect the same effort the front office is showing to be on the field as we begin the NFL New Year, which was March 12.