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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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Cowboys WR Terrance Williams Facing Multi-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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Terrance Williams
Ric Tapia via AP

An arrest last May for public intoxication may finally result in a suspension for Dallas Cowboys Receiver Terrance Williams.

David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, who reported the pending suspension, outlined the details of Williams' case. Charges were ultimately dropped once Terrance completed an alcohol education course and paid damages to the city.

David Moore on Twitter

Sources: Cowboys WR Terrance Williams faces suspension stemming from May arrest for public intoxication https://t.co/3RmwQOllim via @sportsdaydfw

However, as Cowboys fans know too well, the NFL reserves the right to suspend players under the Personal Conduct Policy regardless of legal outcomes. The 2017 season was marred by the league's persecution of Ezekiel Elliott for domestic violence despite no arrests or charges coming from any legal or police entity.

In Williams' case, there's no dispute of his guilt. It is unlikely he will appeal any decision the NFL makes.

The potential that Terrance will be missing for 2-4 games helps explain the Cowboys' move earlier this week to bring back WR Brice Butler. With both currently active, Dallas has an unusually high seven receivers on their 53-man roster.

It's already Friday, so the suspension is doubtful to come for this week's game in Seattle. But Terrance could easily be one of the seven inactive players on game day, having received the fewest snaps of any Cowboys WR last week against the Giants.

We'll see soon enough, likely as soon as next week, just what the league has in store for Terrance Williams.



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Report: Dallas Cowboys to Sign Free Agent Wide Receiver Brice Butler

John Williams

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5 Bye Week Adjustments Cowboys Hopefully Made

The Dallas Cowboys look to be making a move at the wide receiver position as they attempt to bring some life to the position. No they aren't trading for Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon, but bringing back former Wide Receiver Brice Butler.

According to a report from Saad Yousuf from The Athletic, the Dallas Cowboys are set to resign the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver but first have to release someone from the 53-man roster.

Saad Yousuf on Twitter

Cowboys officials are in the process of signing wide receiver Brice Butler, multiple sources tell @TheAthleticDFW. The team has to make a roster move to bring Butler onto the 53 and is trying to decide whom to release to make room for Butler before a final decision is made.

Brice Butler was signed in the offseason by the Arizona Cardinals but was released after training camp. It was a surprising move for the Cardinals. They don't have a ton of wide receiver depth aside from future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Butler's caught 73 passes on 133 targets for 1,177 yards and eight touchdowns in his five career. In 36 games with the Dallas Cowboys Brice Butler caught 43 passes on 81 targets for 794 yards and six touchdowns. In his time in Dallas, he averaged 18.5 yards per reception.

He never really got a lot of playing time with the Dallas Cowboys who had Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten on the team for the duration of his time in Dallas. The Cowboys coaching staff placed a higher premium on Terrance Williams' run blocking than Butler's big play ability.

To the coaching staff's credit, Butler was never a consistent enough player to be relied upon week in and week out. In 2017, his last season in Dallas, Brice Butler was never targeted more than three times a game and he never caught more than two passes a game. Butler, however, only played 24.51% of the Dallas Cowboys' offensive snaps in 2017.

If the Dallas Cowboys do make this move it's at a curious time. Sources tell 247 Sports' Mike Fisher that the Dallas Cowboys have zero interest at the moment in Cleveland Browns Wide Receiver Josh Gordon. You'd think their lack of interest would be because they still like the wide receiver room as it is.

If they do complete the signing of Brice Butler, you'd have to expect that Deonte Thompson would be the wide receiver on the chopping block. They cut him at the end of the preseason and then brought him back during week one.

This signing is unlikely to have an impact on the Dallas Cowboys week two matchup with the New York Giants, but will probably be completed early Monday to get Butler to Frisco to begin preparing for their week three matchup.

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I don't think this is a move that makes a lot of sense for the Dallas Cowboys. They've been down that road before and haven't received the results they wanted. Brice Butler does offer some big play ability, but it was thought that is why they brought in Deonte Thompson and Tavon Austin. Is it possible the Dallas Cowboys are already down on those two players after one game? They wouldn't be bringing Butler back if they didn't have plans for him.

Good or bad, do you think bringing Brice Butler back is the right move for the Dallas Cowboys?



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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

Sean Martin

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Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon's Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency

It's Sunday morning and the Cleveland Browns are expected to make a questionable decision by tomorrow, which is far from news for a Dallas Cowboys team waiting around for a crucial Sunday Night Football home game tonight. With Cleveland expected to part ways with troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon though, the Cowboys have understandably been linked to Gordon, even more so now with the talented pass catcher stating his own interest in America's Team.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

As teams discuss potentially trading for outgoing #Browns WR Josh Gordon, I'm told he's got his eye on two in particular: The #Cowboys and the #49ers.

Before looking into this any further, it's necessary to point out an all-important missing detail. Without any reports of the Cowboys own interest in Gordon, the soon-to-be free agent is simply the latest player to say he'd like to play for the Cowboys - hardly anything new for the Jones.

The Cowboys need for a player like Gordon has never been more evident though. Heavily criticized throughout the offseason for how they handled their wide receivers, the Cowboys passing game was a non-factor in the team's 16-8 week one loss.

Signing or trading for Gordon could do little to fix this, but the risk may also prove worthwhile for Dallas. The Baylor Bears product did put up 1,646 yards in 2013 with minimal talent around him, and has a career 17.3 yards per reception.

His ability to take the top off a defense is something the Cowboys are sorely missing. What they won't miss from not acquiring Gordon is the off-field trouble, taking on a player that missed all of 2015 and 2016 due to suspension.

Last season,  Gordon was reinstated for the Browns final five games.

The NFL is, at least cautiously, easing their policy on players suspended for marijuana usage. Look no further than the Cowboys own Randy Gregory to prove this, as Gregory has already become a success story for the league by being with the Cowboys this season.

Whether or not Gregory plays on Sunday night (officially listed as DOUBTFUL) after suffering a concussion in his long-awaited return last week is yet to be determined. So too is Josh Gordon's future as the latest player on his way out of Cleveland.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

From @gmfb Weekend: The #Browns plan to release Josh Gordon after he showed up late, injured his hamstring during a photo shoot, and in general completely lost their trust. https://t.co/cX2HGZPBXi

I'm of the belief that Gordon won't last long on the open market, meaning this won't be the latest Cowboys story/non-story to drag through the presses. Any fan looking to pass time between now and kickoff against the Giants could probably find me saying the same about free agent WR Dez Bryant however.

Thanks to Bryant still being a free agent along with former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey, the team has looked smarter than expected in the long-term on moves like these.

If there's a smart way to bring on Josh Gordon, Dallas should be considering that too.

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys, 49ers Are WR Josh Gordon’s Preferred Teams in Trade/Free Agency" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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