New Collective Bargaining Agreement Could Put Cowboys in Tough Spot


Earlier today, Calvin Watkins wrote that the Cowboys might have a problem getting under the proposed salary cap in the new CBA. Watkins was clear that this is mostly speculation since no one really knows what the new CBA will entail. Also, it should be noted that some of the salary Watkins is accounting for belongs to players that are going to be cut regardless of the Cowboys’ cap picture. Marion Barber and Marc Columbo come to mind. So, this isn’t exactly earth shattering news, but it is interesting material nonetheless.

No matter what the NFL salary cap is this year, the Cowboys are going to field a very different team from last season. Unfortunately, because of the lock-out, we have no idea what this team will look like. Also, if Jerry wants to be a player in the free agent market — and he probably does — he’s going to have to cut some overpriced veterans. That much we know for certain.

One of the biggest factors in this is how the new CBA affects Doug Free’s situation. If, under the new agreement, players in Free’s position — four year veterans — remain restricted free agents, the Cowboys will be able to sign Free at an affordable price. However, if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, his price tag is going to be quite a bit higher. Either way, he’ll remain a Cowboy, but it will impact the decisions the team must make when it comes to several veterans.

In all honesty, the Cowboys would probably benefit substantially from getting rid of some dead roster weight. The first player that comes to mind is Roy Williams. There is no need for me to trash Roy. At this point, he’s too easy of a target. I’m analyzing this from a business perspective. In my mind, Roy is an expensive asset that fails the cost-benefit analysis. According to Watkins, the Cowboys can recover $12.9 million — I’m assuming Calvin means a savings of this much, but he wasn’t completely clear on that — if they cut ties with Roy. Surely even his biggest supporters can see why the ‘Boys need to make that move. The money they would save might allow them to sign a couple of solid players.

Personally, I think they should part ways with almost every player Watkins suggested, but that’s probably not going to happen. For one, it’s very doubtful that Terence Newman will be going anywhere. Not that Jerry always does what he says, but as Josh Sanchez wrote earlier today on this site, Jones has indicated that Newman will be back. I have no problem with Newman’s skill, but his injury history makes me think that it would be a smart to cut him. And, if they sign Asomugha, that might force Jerry to make a tough decision. Newman would be valuable as a third corner, but probably not worth the $4 million he is owed next season.

Another possible cap casualty that deserves to be mentioned is Leonard Davis. Cutting Big Leonard wouldn’t save the ‘Boys that much money — $1.834 million. However, if things get tight enough, Leonard might be sent packing simply because there are available alternatives at his position. If they had to — and I’m not advocating this — they could play Andre Gurode at guard and start Phil Costa at center. More than anything though, you have to hate the idea of thinning out the offensive line depth. This is especially true since Kyle Kosier’s return to the team is doubtful. They’re going to need Leonard Davis next season.

One thing is for certain, whenever this lock-out ends, things are going to get crazy. It’s unbelievable to think that it is July already and there are still so many questions about the Cowboys’ roster. I think they’ll at least be decent this season, but they definitely have some holes to fill. Hopefully any cuts they make will be addition by subtraction.

Disagree or have something to add? As always, comments are welcome.