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Will the Cowboys have enough money to sign free agents?

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In my 2011 Free Agency/Draft Guide, I argued that, in a dream world, there would be 10 (very productive) new faces in Dallas this season:

Rookies

  • Marcell Dareus/Cameron Jordan
  • Gabe Carimi/Ben Ijalana
  • Aaron Williams
  • Nate Irving
  • Dion Lewis
  • Jeremy Kerley
  • Steven Friday

Free Agents

  • Michael Huff
  • Davin Joseph
  • Kris Brown (technically already on roster)

A few of you questioned how the Cowboys could make this work financially.  Well, here are 10 guys who would be released to make financial room for the newcomers.

The Automatic Cuts/Unsigned Players

  • Marion Barber
  • Marc Colombo
  • Leon Williams
  • Marcus Spears
  • Alex Barron
  • Keith Brooking
  • Igor Olshansky

The Others

  • Leonard Davis
  • Kevin Ogletree
  • Roy Williams
  • Terence Newman (restructure deal if possible)

The big-money free agents for Dallas include Michael Huff, the first-round selection, and Doug Free.  Davin Joseph would be a step below, and all of the other players would come relatively cheaply.

Do the potential departures above allow for the Cowboys to acquire enough cash to sign all of the newcomers, plus Free?  It’s so difficult to tell for sure because specific contract information is, for whatever reason, rarely made entirely public.  When it is, it’s often inaccurate.

What we know is the Cowboys will save quite a bit of dough by releasing Barber and Davis.  If Newman is willing to restructure his deal, it’s certainly possible the ‘Boys could shape the new contracts in such a way that they’d make sense financially.  For all of the crap the front office receives, the Cowboys have done a hell of a job over the last decade in structuring contracts to fit under the cap.

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2 Responses to Will the Cowboys have enough money to sign free agents?

  1. Vince_Grey says:

    I have no problem with your automatic cuts. Spears has some value left as a run defender, but on rep alone, it’s likely some other team will step in and overpay for him.

    The others though, I don’t know. I think Davis can still play, and if he gets into better shape, could become a real quality lineman once again, at least for another season or two. I hope we can work out a way to keep him for less money.

    Roy can definitely play, just not up to the level of his ridiculous contract, but IMO, that’s Jerry’s fault a lot more than Roy’s. What was the guy supposed to do, say no to the money? He can still be an asset to this team. Ditto to what I said for Davis: Work out a new deal more in line with his production.

    I’ve been pretty hard on Newman here lately, but he can still be a very good player. Ideally, I’d like to replace him as a starter with more of a ball-hawk, (Ditto for Jenkins) but as a backup he’d be just what the doctor ordered. I think he has 2-3 decent seasons left in that capacity.

    I was a big Ogletree fan his rookie year, but he hasn’t really progressed like he should have, and any backup receiver who thinks he’s too good to play special teams needs to leave. See ya. Don’t go away mad, Kevin, just go away.

  2. VG–I should have done a better job of explaining the Davis cut. I actually don’t think he should be released. If the Cowboys can keep him, then I think he’s still a viable guard. I think some of his inability to open up gaping holes had to do with some predictable play-calls behind him in short-yardage situations. This was simply an attempt to create enough cap room to sign the players I listed, and with Davis’ bonus, he had to go.

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