Dallas Cowboys: Five key contract decisions for 2016

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Nov 9, 2014; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jeremy Mincey (92) celebrates after a sack in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the ink dries on the recently penned contract of Dez Bryant, I want to turn our attention to 2016. The battle between Dez and DeMarco Murray for new deals over the last year saw #88 win out. But what contracts are set to expire in 2016, and who will be playing to get paid next season? Here are five of the biggest decisions to be made in Dallas.

Jeremy Mincey arrived in Dallas in 2014 in the shadow of Henry Melton. Melton was to be the quarterback marauding leader, while he did so in flashes it soon transpired that Mincey was to be chief of the Cowboys defense.

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Leading the team in sacks, forced fumbles and quarterback hurries Mincey was a key component of the Rod Marinelli rotation. While the defensive line has undergone a overhaul with a fresh faced rookie in Randy Gregory, the dominant Greg Hardy and a rejuvenated Demarcus Lawrence, Mincey is still expected to play a significant role.

With Gregory openly admitting he welcomed the support network offered by the Cowboys and Greg Hardy‘s conduct under the microscope there is no one better than Mincey to be that example to others on the conduct of a committed NFL player. A deprived childhood and brushes with the law in his youth are just an indication of how far he’s come both personally and professionally.

"“I think as an athlete, we impact the world not only with our play, but in what we do in leading by example”- Jeremy Mincey"

Turning 32 during the forthcoming season means that a renewed contract is by no means a given. 2014 was only the third time in his eight year pro career that Mincey has played a full schedule. If though Mincey has another 16 game influential season it would be hard to refuse him a deal. With a firmer grip on contracts from the Cowboys management in comparison to years gone by, a one year pay as you play offer could be the route to take.

Next: Tyrone Crawford