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Carr Could Force Cowboys to Play Hardball

Jess Haynie

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Brandon Carr

I'm going to go into more detail about this in an article later today, but right now (according to OverTheCap.com and Spotrac.com) the Cowboys are headed into the draft with no cap space to actually sign their rookies. In broad terms, they would need an estimated $5 million cleared to sign all of their draft picks, in addition to the $4 million in space they currently have.

Cowboys Headlines - Brandon Carr Decision Expected This Week 1This lead to a very logical question about one well-discussed contract; Brandon Carr's.

Dallas gets $6.38 million in space if they cut Carr outright and $9.1 million if they make him a post-June 1st cut, which increases our dead money for 2017. This is the clearest and simplest way to free up the needed space.

The Cowboys already know this and have likely been projecting it since the start of free agency. Therefore, the logical question is why they haven't cut Carr already?

Remember, the last Collective Bargaining Agreement included a provision that allows teams to go ahead and designate two players as June 1st cuts even before we hit the calendar date. It's a player-friendly move that allows released players to take advantage of free agency when the market opens. Given Brandon Carr's sterling reputation with the organization, you'd think Dallas would extend him that courtesy if they knew he was being cut.

On the other hand, Carr has set precedent for playing contract hardball with the Cowboys. He refused to negotiate a salary reduction last year despite clearly not playing up to his contract. He may be a "team player" on the field and a great guy in the community but teams don't forget when you put the screws to them over money.

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys CTK: The Carrousel Stops At #39 2Many are now assuming that Carr's continued presence is a sign that he'll play out the contract for one more year. However, this situation with the rookie salaries still leaves the door wide open for something to happen.

Dallas still has the leverage here and Carr's refusal to negotiate his salary makes it easier for them to use it. I think they've been holding him this long in the hopes that he would eventually accept the pay cut, not wanting to enter free agency after money's been spent and rookies have been drafted. Some veterans end up not finding any work after being a June 1st cut.

Dallas can work their leverage even beyond the June 1st date. They can deny Carr enjoying that extra little wave of free agency and not cut him until near the start of training camp. It wasn't long ago that the Cowboys didn't get their rookies signed until shortly before camp, though they've been doing it earlier in recent years.

One thing is certain; if Dallas didn't want Carr on the roster then they'd have already cut him now by now. As was already said, they have the flexibility to make him a June 1st cut without waiting for the date to fall. The only reason he's still here is that Dallas is hoping to retain the player but also getting his cap figure knocked down.

My next article is going to break down several other ways Dallas can clear the necessary cap space even if they don't touch Carr's contract. However, there's no question that Carr remains the single best option for freeing up money.

Cowboys Headlines - Brandon Carr Expected To Be Released By CowboysWhat's more, the draft remains a huge factor in determining Carr's value. Dallas could end up with Jalen Ramsey or Vernon Hargreaves, who could be Day One starters or at least in your top three with Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne. You don't have to worry about keeping Carr around then.

The second round could also yield a quality corner. One of several first-round talents could be there at the 34th pick: Eli Apple, Kendall Fuller, Mackensie Alexander, or Williams Jackson. Though not on the same talent tier as Ramsey or Hargreaves, these guys would still be expected to contribute right away.

Despite all the remaining variables, it's clear that the assumption of Brandon Carr staying with Dallas is premature. If anything, I would still best that he'll eventually be released.

Like so many of our remaining question, we'll hopefully start to get some answers on April 28th.



Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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3 Comments
  • Keith

    I don't see how Carr has been here as long as he has now!!!!

    • Jess Haynie

      I was very surprised he wasn't cut last year. Crazy as it sounds, I'd say he's still more likely to be in Dallas in 2016 than not.

  • RJ Ochoa

    I just don't see the sense in cutting him at this point. The cap situation works. Why do it just to send a message? The truth of the matter is that we are better with him than we are without him.

    Sent from my iPad using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

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BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year

Mauricio Rodriguez

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David Irving

For the second consecutive year, Defensive Lineman David Irving is being suspended for four games by the NFL. This time, the suspension comes after Irving violated the NFL's policy on substance of abuses, as Ian Rapoport reported.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys DL David Irving is being suspended 4 games for violating @NFL policy on substance of abuses, sources say. Another big-time D-linemen hit with a suspension for Dallas.

Irving will play for the Dallas Cowboys after the team placed a second-round tender on him earlier in the year. Why no team was interested in picking such a talented defensive tackle for a second round pick is becoming clearer and clearer as the time goes on.

In April, when David Irving got hacked by his former girlfriend one of the tweets that stood out the most was one which said "Wait until you all find about his failed drug tests." Now, we're seeing what the tweet was about.

Irving is a very talented player that could have a great career ahead of him. Of course, with this being the second consecutive year in which he receives a suspension to start the season, one could question how much he wants it.

The Cowboys will play the Panthers, Giants, Seahawks and Lions to start the season. They'll have to do it with one of their most promising defensive players in David Irving.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll keep you updated with this story and every Dallas Cowboys news.

Tell me what you think about "BREAKING: David Irving Suspended For 2nd Consecutive Year" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

Sean Martin

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Cowboys 2016 Draft Class: Who Will Be The Stand Out In 2017?
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

When Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten retired from the NFL last month, he left behind an unproven group of tight ends for the Cowboys to field as Witten moves on to the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. This is not a TE group short of potential, although that's nothing new for the laundry list of players that have failed at the position behind the Hall of Fame bound Witten.

Headlining this group of potential heirs to Witten has to be 2016 draft pick Rico Gathers. Not yet given the same opportunities that Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are receiving through the Cowboys ongoing mini camp, Gathers has been criticized for his commitment to his team.

Looking to make the transition from the basketball court at Baylor to the football field, Gathers' journey began at Witten's soon-to-be home forever. Playing his first organized football game since middle school, Gathers and Witten were teammates in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio in 2017.

A game rarely leaving fans with a lasting memories, Gathers immediately flashed potential in the passing game, hauling in three passes for 59 yards and a touchdown. Gathers would go on to spend the season on IR after a concussion suffered in practice, recovering from it in time to return but never seeing the field.

This leaves Gathers' prospects of putting it all together in year three at a difficult crossroads. It will be hard to question Gathers' commitment moving forward, as the message from his former teammate Jason Witten still lives with him.

Jason Witten's Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers

If Witten truly sees a "bright future" for Rico Gathers, who Head Coach Jason Garrett says needs work in the running game, there is no reason the Cowboys can't find a role for him this season. With an entirely unproven group of wide receivers, Gathers could be the reliable mismatch for Dak Prescott to target in the middle of the field.

Prescott was the ninth worst quarterback in the league last season in red zone completion percentage, surely something the 6'6" TE Gathers could help improve.

Gathers may be a long way off from becoming Prescott's version of Witten to Tony Romo, but there is still hope for the 2016 draft pick, according to now football analyst Jason Witten.

Tell us what you think about "Jason Witten’s Lasting Message to Cowboys TE Rico Gathers" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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David Irving to be Present at Dallas Cowboys Minicamp

John Williams

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Cowboys en Español: El Futuro Incierto de David Irving

David Irving has been a notable name throughout the offseason for the Dallas Cowboys, for both on the field and off the field headlines. First, his RFA tender had fans and analysts wondering just what the Cowboys would do with him. Many, myself included, thought placing anything lower than a first-round tender on the stud defensive tackle would mean he was collecting sacks for someone else in 2018.

Thankfully, the Dallas Cowboys' gamble paid off and they were able to save some money by only having the second-round tender applied to 2018.

Then came the accusation of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend and the mother of his child, catching us off-guard just before OTAs began in May. Which was then retracted not long after the initial report.

After all of that had quieted down, most of the talk revolved around David Irving not being in shape for OTAs. Not having been around for much of the offseason work the last several weeks before OTAs would keep Irving from working out.

He's had a lot going on in his life lately away from the game of football, and understandably so. As a father to a young child, I can see how you'd get distracted from your job when family stuff comes into play that affects the well-being of your child.

On the football side of things, at least, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.

Today, it's being reported that David Irving will in fact be present for this week's mandatory minicamp.

Brandon George on Twitter

Also, the Cowboys expect DL David Irving to participate in the 3-day mandatory minicamp that begins today at The Star, a source said. The Cowboys could have both Irving and RG Zack Martin back on the practice field if Martin's contract extension gets finalized this morning.

You may be asking yourself, "what's the big deal? Irving isn't Aaron Donald."

Well, you're mostly right.

Perhaps next to Donald, David Irving was the most disruptive interior player in the NFL last season. David Irving had seven sacks in the eight games he played in.

Read that again. Seven sacks in eight games. That would be 14 sacks over the course of the season if that pace were to continue to play out.

Aaron Donald had 11 sacks in 2017.

Pro Football Focus rated David Irving as its third best pass rusher among interior defensive linemen.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Dominant interior defenders.

To go along with Irving's seven sacks in eight games -- every time I read that I'm floored -- he recorded six passes defended. That was good for second in the NFL at the defensive tackle position and was second on the Dallas Cowboys.

Again, in only eight games played.

Even if you were to pace out his tackle numbers over 16 games, they aren't very spectacular -- 26 solo and 18 assisted -- but he'd still finish in the top 30 among defensive tackles.

Only two other players in the NFL had seven or more sacks and six or more pass breakups; New Orleans Saints Defensive End Cameron Jordan and Cincinnati Bengals Defensive End Carlos Dunlap. Both of those guys played in all 16 games and, while I hate to keep bringing this up, Irving only played in eight.

He's an elite interior defender who has only gotten better since joining Rod Marinelli and the Dallas Cowboys.

If he's able to get his personal life in order -- and that most assuredly comes first -- he's going to be a wrecking ball for the Dallas Cowboys defensive line.

Getting Zack Martin's contract extension completed was probably the most important task of the summer, but getting David Irving back into the practice fold is a close second.

With him and DeMarcus Lawrence coming off a tremendous 2017, the sky is the limit for those two in 2018.

With all the improvement that was made on the defensive side of the ball, I can't help but think of the sign that Greg Hardy paid for several years ago.

"Sacks Comin'."



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