What's been the biggest surprise of the Cowboys' offseason so far? You might say the return of Morris Claiborne or that Dallas has yet to sign or re-sign any pass rushers. Maybe it's the lack of activity in general.
For many, myself included, the biggest shock comes from Brandon Carr still being a Cowboy. I expected he would be released in the weeks before free agency began. When that didn't happen I figured he'd certainly be gone within a few days. I was especially confident after Claiborne re-signed, thinking the Cowboys had covered their bases enough to let Carr go.
But Carr's still here, and the more I look at it the more it seems there are only two possible outcomes:
- Carr is being held as insurance until after the draft. If Dallas ends up adding Jalen Ramsey or some other significant rookie then they can cut Carr and use the cap savings to pay rookies, incentives on next year's deal, and perhaps carry some of the space over to 2017.
- Dallas will ride with Carr for one more year and release him for just $2.7 million in dead money next offseason. There will be an $11 million gain in salary cap space from him coming off the books then, money that can be used to re-sign Travis Frederick and make other moves.
I know Dallas visited with Nolan Carroll last week but that was before Claiborne re-signed. The Cowboys would have to see Carroll as an upgrade over Carr to want to cut Brandon and spend a large chunk of those savings on replacing him with Carroll. There's no empirical evidence that Carroll is a better player.
What's more, that move would reduce their flexibility for the draft. Let's say they drafted Ramsey; do Carroll or Claiborne really want to be the fourth cornerback? Granted, Claiborne's new deal came with little guaranteed money an Dallas could release him. But I think they're hoping that the 26-year-old might be worth a longer deal if he can build on last year's development.
That really speaks to the issue; Brandon Carr is just part of a very tumultuous and unpredictable situation at the cornerback position. Orlando Scandrick is coming back from major knee repair and is 29-years-old. He may not be the same guy anymore. Claiborne is a huge x-factor. Young prospects like Terrance Mitchell and Deji Olatoye have flashed good things but are still very raw. On top of all that, we're still not entirely sure if Byron Jones is a safety or a corner.
As a fan it's tough to separate frustration from looking the business perspective. Carr may not be a high-yield investment but he's also low risk; he'll be on the field when you need him. He hasn't missed a game in eight NFL seasons, which a pretty remarkable feat for any player and especially a cornerback.
For all I know, Carr will be released about five minutes after this article posts. However, at this point it's a move which feels like it would've happened by now if it was happening at all. I think Dallas would have wanted to give Carr the chance to be in the free agent market and would've made him an early June-1st cut if they expect to cut him after the draft.
Obviously, we won't know for sure until after the draft. Dallas may be taking the colder business approach and will release Carr when it best suits their interests instead of the player's. If we've learned anything about Stephen Jones and his increasing influence in management, it's that he doesn't let personal feelings affect his decisions as much as his father.
For now, Brandon Carr is still a Cowboy. Make of it what you will.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick
After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.
I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.
This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.
Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.
In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.
Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
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