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Cowboys Cut Terrell Owens

The Dallas Cowboys have released wide receiver Terrell Owens.

Bryson Treece

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Cowboys Blog - Cowboys Cut Terrell Owens

According to Michael Smith at ESPN, the Dallas Cowboys released Terrell Owens Wednesday night. The Cowboys have yet to confirm the move, though staff writers at DC.com are sharing this same report. This seems to indicate that they haven't heard anything to the contrary.

This is a shocking move, although not a totally unexpected one. Speculation has been running rampant since December when reports surfaced about dissension in the locker room, and it all seems to swirl around Owens.

Should the report be true, the Cowboys will still suffer a hit to the cap very similar to what would have been spent with Owens still on the roster. It has been presumed that cutting him would make less sense given his production level and that $9 million would count against this seasons cap with or without him.

We'll have to wait until morning most likely for official word out of Valley Ranch, but it looks as though the poll on CN.net was dead on target. The question? Who will be the number 1 receiver next year for Dallas, 78% voted that T.O. would be the number 1 over Roy Williams. Not now.

DMN is reporting that T.O. has been notified officially of his release by team officials.


Nothing gives me greater joy than the experience of being a Dallas Cowboys fan come time to check another victory on the schedule every Sunday. I live Inside the Star everyday and blog on it occasionally, as well. Follow us on Twitter - @InsideTheStarDC

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26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Bryson Treece

    March 5, 2009 at 12:23 am

    I think he’ll be fine, he is a good receiver and without Owens things get better for Williams. Less worry about spreading the ball around, and more focus on him in practice and training camp, he should get more than enough reps now to get into a groove with Romo. Plus, he’ll be Romo’s number one receiver, which usually helps.

    I don’t like paying so much for nothing out of the cap, but it does show that maybe Jerry has some idea of how to regain some chemistry in the locker room. Also means that Miles Austin and Crayton are back to battling for the number 2 spot. I’d be comfortable with Williams and Austin leading the way.

  2. Bryson Treece

    March 5, 2009 at 12:41 am

    lmao … I hear ya man. JJ had me fooled too. not sure why he approaches everything in football like one would a poker game, but this time it might work out for us. I liked TO and wanted him to stay, but there were advantages to be gained whether he stayed or not.

  3. Joe C

    March 5, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Yeah I haven’t figured out if this is a good move or bad. I guess in the end it comes down to, do you really think R.E. Williams can hold up to being number 1? Guess we will see :-

  4. Joe C

    March 5, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Yeah guess I am still just in shock over this lol, I hate people who beat around the bush on things. If you can tell me straight up don’t tell me at all, fuck you jerry, fuck you. And yeah maybe shit will come together now for us “chemistry” wise.

    HOW BOUT DEM COWBOYS

  5. prime21

    March 5, 2009 at 12:51 am

    i never thought anything could happen that would make me(a life long cowboy fan) start hating the dallas cowboys…especially jerry jones for obviously listenin to his son,espn,ed werner, and jason garrett and release TO….but after what has happend this offseason so far and now this, i am really thinking about not being a cowboy fan…i cant believe this but i actually hope TO signs with the giants and comes back to haunt jerry and his stupid son and dances on the star after his tds and most likely a giants victory…….i am sick to my stomach

  6. Bryan Martin

    March 5, 2009 at 6:01 am

    I just gotta think, with sam hurd and miles austin likely gone, where is our depth going to come from. Its unrealistic to hope for someone like Anquan Boldin….. But let me dream!

  7. Andrew Lanford

    March 5, 2009 at 9:40 am

    The only good side to this is hopefully the Giants and Redskins will not have the money left to go after him after all their early spending.

  8. Craig

    March 5, 2009 at 10:34 am

    This is a great day. T.O. and Roy gone in the same day. Not even talking about the lockerroom stuff, this frees up our offense a ton. We can actuall yuse the other talent on the team now, because it was very apparent that we wouldn’t so long as he was here to complain every time he didn’t get the ball thrown to him as much as he wanted. Maybe this will help with some of the foolish mistakes we’ve seen from Romo.

    http://www.CowboysFanRebellion.com

  9. Bryson Treece

    March 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Hey Bryan … did I miss something with Austin? No team is going to give up that much to get him, he’s a restricted free agent, remember, and the Cowboys tendered him with like $1.5 million and a 2nd round pick.

    Austin will be here and get more reps without TO around.

  10. Scorpion

    March 5, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Great day for the Cowboys! T.O. is a great individual player but NOT a great team player, and this is a team sport. I’m glad to see management start the effort to “clean up” this team with this release and the release of Pacman. You people talk about what a mistake it is to let him go but we still haven’t accomplished our goals WITH HIM any better than we did without him, and that is to win a playoff game. His six catches in two playoff games didn’t impress me too much. Did it you? Best of luck to Roy and T.O. in the future. No hard feelings, just definately time for both of you to go. Good moves, JJ. So glad your the gm instead of so many of these T.O. “homers” who can’t see the forest for the trees!

  11. Bryson Treece

    March 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Yeah, splitting Felix wide on occasion is something the coaches have already mentioned, think they did it once last year???

    Austin is still much of a risk to get big money anywhere, and the Cowboys have stuck by him so far. Plus he now gets to push for more opportunity than has been available the last few years without TO. If I were him, I’d be happy to stay in Dallas for 1.5 mil.

    It will probably be another week before and RFA’s start getting attention, but then we’ll see if anyone is interested.

  12. Tay

    March 5, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    So everyone is just as happy as a pig in slop that the big bad team killing Terrell Owens is now gone. Let all the media types and “die hard” Cowboy fans gather at the entrance to Valley Ranch and sing kumbaya while joined hand in hand slowly rocking from side to side…..
    After the love fest ends, then maybe one of those gathered can explain just what this offense will do without a #1 reciever and no replacement in sight?
    For all the irrational ones out there, lets break this down….Miles Austin is not, I repeat IS NOT going to be our savior. While the guy has speed, he has nothing else. He is a “china doll” pretty to look at, but will break at any given moment. Patrick Crayton, well we all know he is no better than a #3. Sam Hurd could not even beat out Austin for the #3 last offseason. Isiah Stanbeck, a bigger Mile Austin, enough said. Before it is even said, Witten is a Tight End for a reason, if he is our leading reciever then we are in serious trouble. Plus all those middle of the field routes he runs where he is wide open are effectively gone now. The safety that would normally role over the top of T.O. will now be sitting back there just waiting for Witten…. As for roy Williams, until he proves to NFL defensive coordinators that he is a force to be reckoned with, he will not put any fear in opposing defense’s hearts.

    So what now, you can’t trade for a guy or sign one. There is no salary cap room and by this stage no one left in free agency. The draft is a crap shoot at best. Any more bright ideas????

  13. Bryan Martin

    March 5, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I think that Austin Miles will see other oppurtunities in other places, but i hope he doesn’t land the money. He’s a Speedy intriguing young wide reciever, in a league where veteran recievers are becoming a little too selfish…he’s a decent option for most….but i guess all things considered he should be back in Big D.

    Option to think about- Splitting out felix jones as a wide out…

  14. Face(DBoyZ)

    March 5, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    WE NEED T.O. Jerry Jones is a idiot. We need to resign him n maybe look for a new QB
    But I will always be a cowboys fan not a bandwagon fan like half tha ppl talkin im not a DBoy fan

  15. Bryson Treece

    March 5, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Come on guys … You’re looking at Roy all wrong. What if you were forced to be perfect the first day on a new job?

    Last year was messed up, which messed Roy up for a few games. Owens wanting the ball more and all that stink messed up some more. As the top guy, he’ll get in sync with Romo, especially with Kitna helping Romo understand the guy better.

    I don’t know if he’ll be a bust or not … but 2008 is the worst example to base your opinion on where Williams is concerned. He’ll produce in 2009, but it won’t matter if Garrett doesn’t utilize the other players right. Even TO got shut down because teams knew he was the target.

    It’ll only take two or three games for Roy to be dominant and the other teams we play will pay more attention. Besides, with that constant double coverage from TO, we can get different looks and expose different things, it’s no longer only about the match up a defense gives us, now we can have some control over that as well.

  16. Big Terrible Texas

    March 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    That was one of the worse moves we could’ve made there is nobody that demands the respect that owens does he made the offense click because of the threat of him scoring now I like roy and dreams of those 2 causing major problems for other teams but now we have a # 1 1/2 and the rest 3’s at best

  17. mike

    March 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    The release of Roy Williams came as no surprise to anyone . It was a matter of when not if. Besides being a liability in coverage, his cap number was high. I believe the Cowboys will save about 2mil in cap space with his release. Half of that will be used to cover the extra cap hit from the release of T.O. Whether you agree or not with the release, you have to admit that there should be far less drama on the team this year. The players not longer in that locker room- Pacman, Tank, Roy and T.O. were lightning rods for the press. I personally hope that these moves along with the signing of some character guys recently mean that Jerry believes that talent alone does not make a winner. A class act always wins.

  18. Ray Lopiparo

    March 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Horrible move. 1st of all this counts against our cap space, we lose a great player and probably have made an even bigger rift in our team. Roy Williams had 19 catches for 180 yards and 1 TD in 10 games he doesn’t deserve to be starter and butterfingers Crayton isnt going to take any pressure off of him.

  19. Bryson Treece

    March 5, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Well said Scorpion. Sure, we could find good points for him staying, but he’s not, so let’s focus on the good points of him leaving.

  20. Scorpion

    March 5, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Yea…T.O. was a force to reckon with last year….what…8 games with 40 yards or less? He’s 30 something…time to give more playing time to the younger guys and see what they have…besides, how much longer did you think T.O. was going to play in this league? He’s old and on the downhill side of his career and he will no longer be in the heads, (and screwing them up) of half the team.

  21. Shaun Wellman

    March 5, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Very good point Bryson……

  22. prime21

    March 5, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    how can one man supposedly be so disruptive to a team of grwn *ss men…all the the idots just love making TO the scapegoat for everything….OR MAYBE IT WAS ALL TO`S FAULT…..

    In his first season and first playoff game with the Cowboys it was Terrell Owens who fumbled away an easy snap that would’ve guaranteed a victory over the Seattle Seahawks, which would have put them into a game against the eventual NFC champion Chicago Bears
    In the year after in the playoffs it was apparently Terrell Owens who stopped short on his route and watched a sure touchdown throw fall harmlessly on to the turf in the last seconds at home against the eventual super bowl champion New York Giants.
    In his last season with the Cowboys, since he was cut today, it is apparent Owens is at fault for not signing a backup quarterback who could throw the football farther than twenty yards, and being a part of a defensive unit that allowed record setting back to back eighty plus yard runs in a game they had locked up. This same game would’ve guaranteed them a spot in the playoffs. In his last game as a member of the Cowboys he also played the worst game of his life as a quarterback, not to mention anchoring a defense which allowed the Philadelphia Eagles offense to put up 44 points

  23. Joe C

    March 5, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    good shit prime21

  24. Big Terrible Texas

    March 6, 2009 at 4:21 am

    100% agree with you prime 21 blame T.O for everything. He’s a easy target Romo NEVER makes mistakes Jason Garrett Never makes mistakes its all T.O’s fault for the cowboys failures PLLLEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEE !!!!!!!!

  25. Bryson Treece

    March 6, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    You know, I’d have to agree with that sentiment … PLEASE!!!

    It doesn’t matter if Owens was the only problem because we all know he wasn’t.

    What does matter is that he did make mistakes, he did give up on routes toward the end of the season. He did say things he shouldn’t have said. It’s one thing to say all the stuff about wanting the ball and good things happening when does, I agree with what he said on that. But when he told Sanders all that stuff about Garrett, he kind of asked to be fired.

    I mean hell, do you go to work, stand on top of your desk, and tell everyone there that your boss, a guy, wears high heels and pantyhose when he’s in is his office? Not if you want to keep your job.

    So like I said, debating the merits of Owens being cut isn’t worth it, it all comes down to what is done is done. Let’s try to focus on what can be done now.

  26. Scorpion

    March 7, 2009 at 8:49 am

    Good reply, Bryson. Prime21….I guess it was just a “coincidence” about what happened in San Fransisco and Philly when T.O. was a member of the team? I’m sure his departure from those teams was other people’s fault as well. Seems there are alot of “grown men” and teams that had a problem with your boy. I find it funny that nearly all the teams in the league don’t want to take a chance on this guy but you defend him to the bitter end. I guess all those football people and teams don’t know what they are talking about.

    Prediction: Someone will give him a chance. He will be a good boy for the first year,then the whining and crying will start in the second year. I’m sure it will be because his QB isn’t good enough to showcase his talents and he will tell the world about it. Sound familar? 3 for 3. San Fran, Philly and Dallas. The only question is, who will be #4.

    Our offense will be fine next year. Decent to good line, excellent RB’s, and a good young QB who is getting experience from each game. Does he through too many interceptions. Absolutely! But with another year or two, he will be fine. Our remaining WR’s can get the job done for us.

    Philly’s offense seems to be just fine without T.O. and the perceived lack of quality at WR that they currently have. They seem to be able to generate enough offense to make it to the title game.

    THERE WILL BE LIFE AFTER T.O.!!!!

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Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Was OK, But Cowboys Need More From Michael Gallup

Jess Haynie

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Can WR Michael Gallup Eclipse 1,000 Receiving Yards as a Rookie?

Just yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys declined an option on Wide Receiver Terrance Williams' contract and ended his six-year tenure with the team. One reason the veteran was no longer in their plans was the presence of Michael Gallup, who the team has high hopes for entering just his second NFL season.

It's interesting to compare Gallup and Williams on several levels. Just as Terrance's time ends, having only made a few appearance last year in just three games, Michael was a fast learner as a rookie and emerged as the team's number-two receiver by the playoffs.

Both were third-round picks, with Williams (74th) being selected just seven spots higher overall in 2013 than Gallup (81st) was in 2018.

Terrance came to Dallas when Dez Bryant was firmly entrenched as the team's primary receiver. Michael was drafted less than a month after Dez was released, but Amari Cooper soon established himself as the number-one WR midway through the year.

In both cases, the Cowboys hoped that their third-round selection would yield a player who could at least play a complimentary role as a solid roleplayer, if not regular starter.

For all his warts Terrance Williams was ultimately a solid draft pick. He started in about 75% of the games he played in and was a proficient run blocker, helping both DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott have big years. He also made some highlight reel catches in his time.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

But with those big plays came some big blunders. Terrance often had a bad drop for every good catch he made. A huge mental error may have cost Dallas the 2016 season opener against the Giants. And if the team wasn't already starting to turn on him, his 2018 arrest for public intoxication seemed to push them over the edge.

That said, the biggest issue with Williams was his inability to produce without other plays drawing attention. He didn't rise to the occasion when Dez Bryant was injured. He rarely even made defenses pay for giving Dez too much attention.

At his best, Terrance was a solid number-two receiver. Plenty of teams who've spent first-round picks on receivers wish they could they'd gotten as much in return. Nobody should be disappointed with how that 2013 third-round pick turned out.

But when it comes to Michael Gallup, Dallas should hope that Williams' career is the floor for Gallup's potential. As teams key on Amari Cooper going forward, can Gallup do damage in ways that Terrance rarely could?

Even more importantly, if Cooper were to ever get injured, could Michael step up and take on a larger role? Can Dallas finally have a number-two receiver with the capacity for occasionally taking the lead?

#DALvsWAS: Michael Gallup Will Play, Value Extends Beyond Passing Game 1

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

That may be putting too much pressure on young Mr. Gallup but it's really not an unfair expectation. Recent drafts have produced highly productive third-round receivers such as Keenan Allen, Cooper Kupp, Kenny Golladay, and Tyler Lockett.

Even more pressure comes if Cole Beasley leaves the team in free agency. While his role lessened toward the end of 2018, Cole remained one of Dak Prescott's favorite options in clutch situations. He was almost impossible to stop with just one man covering him, and that gave defenses a real dilemma once Amari Cooper arrived.

Can Gallup fill those shoes? Can he become a reliable target when the game is on the line?

In the end, all Michael has to do is be a solid starter to provide a great value for his draft selection. The Williams standard isn't a bad measure.

But if the Cowboys ever want to win more than just the occasional playoff game then they need another receiving threat who truly punishes opposing defenses. They need the next Alvin Harper, not the next Terrance Williams.

We can only hope, as the team does, that Michael Gallup is up to the task.


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Dallas Cowboys

Deep Dive into the Dallas Cowboys 2019 Salary Cap

John Williams

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Sean's Scout: Cowboys Blitzes Keep Giants Play Makers in Check

The Dallas Cowboys are heading into free agency, which opens March 13th, in really good shape. The Cowboys will be able to be aggressive in the free agent market if they want to. They have the 10th most cap space in the NFL. It could make for a fun free agency period for the front office and Cowboys Nation, however, we know how this team has felt about spending on outside free agents since being burned by the Brandon Carr signing.

In years past, they’ve opted to bargain shop. Last year was a departure from the norm though, as they chased the mythical unicorn that is Sammy Watkins last offseason.

Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. 

They haven’t generally been a team that chased big-time free agents, though this could be the season that all changes with several free agent safeties that could be immediate upgrades.

We know they’re going to spend a lot of money on their own with Demarcus Lawrence coming free and Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott looking for contract extensions, but they’re could Ben opportunities to bring in a star from another player to come where The Star.

I hope Jerry Jones has his signing hand ready, it’s going to be putting in a lot of work over the next couple of months.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had people on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, AOL Chatrooms, and via USPS correspondence express concern about whether the Dallas Cowboys will be able to afford all their guys and chase free agents.

Not to worry Cowboys fan, with a little salary cap and contract gymnastics, the sky’s the limit.

Let’s take a look.

Current Cap Space

According to OverTheCap.com, the 2019 Salary Cap is estimated to be around $190 million. After the release of Terrance Williams, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to have nearly $48 million in cap space available to them when free agency opens on March 13th.

When you look at that number by itself, it doesn’t look like a lot with big money contracts coming to DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and Byron Jones. Remember, though, the salary cap may be a fixed number, but contracts are pliable, meaning the team can do several things to create cap space through releases, how they structure new contracts, and restructures.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Dallas Cowboys will have the money they need to sign the players they want to sign.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Likely Releases

Sean Lee, Linebacker

Age and injury catch up to everyone and this is where we are with All-Pro Linebacker Sean Lee who will be turning 33 in July. Lee’s career has just been unlucky from the time he set foot in Dallas.

Since coming to the Cowboys in the 2010 draft, Lee has only played in 64% of the possible 149 games that the Dallas Cowboys have played in that time frame. Contrast that with a player like Zack Martin who has played in all but two games in his five-year career. That’s a 92% availability rate for his career.

The Dallas Cowboys don’t typically pay age. The difficult choice with Lee is that he’s long been a leader for the Dallas Cowboys. However, with the emergence of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, it’s extremely difficult to justify a $7 million cap hit to a part-time player.

Allen Hurns, Wide Receiver

Allen Hurns was a roller coaster ride in 2018.

First, it appeared he was brought in to be an upgrade at the number two spot. Then when the Cowboys shocked the world and released Dez Bryant, he immediately moved up the wide receiver pecking order, but was generally ineffective. After the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper, Hurns became somewhat of an afterthought in the wide receiver snap distribution. Then he was lost in the win over the Seattle Seahawks with a gruesome ankle injury.

Allen Hurns is a fine player, but the Cowboys could get $5 million in cap relief by parting ways with the former 1,000 yard receiver.

A couple weeks ago, I outlined why I think Hurns could be a solution to the problem facing the Cowboys if Cole Beasley walked away. Hurns best attributes shine when deployed in the slot and asked to run over the middle of the field.

Coming off of the ankle injury, the Cowboys could easily move on and use that $5 million to extend one of their own or go after a big name in free agency.

Unlikely, but not Impossible Releases

The next few players are players that will most likely be on the squad in 2019. But as we saw with Dez Bryant, there can always be surprises.

Joe Looney, Center

The 2018 season seemed almost sunk when news came down that Center Travis Frederick was diagnosed with Guillen-Barre Syndrome during training camp. One of the stories of the 2018 season, was the play of Frederick’s backup Joe Looney. Looney may not have been the most valuable player, but you can’t understate how important he wasn’t to the success the Dallas Cowboys had in 2018.

We’ve seen what happens when backups who are incredibly inferior to the starter they play behind see action. Think back to Atlanta in 2017. If the Cowboys get better play from Chaz Green and Byron Bell, that game and perhaps the season turns out differently. Kind of like when Cameron Fleming filled in for Tyron Smith this season. It was a completely different result. Was Fleming perfect? No, but he wasn’t a disaster and the Cowboys were able to win games without their All-Pro left tackle.

Joe Looney is going to be with this team unless someone loses their center and wants to trade for him. In the event the Cowboys wanted to get some cap relief, they could save $1.5 million in 2019, with only $125 thousand in dead money on the cap.

I don’t see them making this move, but for those of you curious, there are the numbers.

Joe Thomas, Linebacker

Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch got all the glory at the linebacker position in 2018, and for good reason, but Joe Thomas was an important piece to the puzzle as well. He provided excellent depth and a lot of good snaps for the Cowboys in 2018, which is why I think he’s back next year.

He only saves you about $2 million on the cap, but if you didn’t want to pay a  backup linebacker $2 million, then you could part ways with him.

Jeff Heath, Safety

Jeff Heath is a solid player, but gets relied upon for a little more than he should. He’d probably be best served with being a rotational safety in the NFL. He has a penchant for making plays, but also has some maddening snaps as well, like the final play against the Rams where Jared Goff was able to scramble for a first down. Heath never saw the bootleg and was late getting to Goff to keep him from picking up the first down.

The Dallas Cowboys like him as a player and he’s likely to stay with the team. He helps on special teams and provides valuable depth.

If they were to move on, they could save $2.5 million.

La’el Collins, Tackle

It’s not often you hear people talk about releasing a starting tackle, and I’m certainly not here to advocate for that.

Collins has had some up and down games, but in his short two-year stint at right tackle he’s been pretty good. He’s stood tall against some of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

His contract will carry him through the 2019 season, but if the Dallas Cowboys wanted to part ways, again, not saying they should, they could save a whopping $8.5 million in the salary cap.

$8.5 million could be the cost of Earl a Thomas or a Tre Boston. That’s  pretty big chunk of change.

Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick

Potential Restructures

When it comes to restructures, the Dallas Cowboys have been selective over recent years with who they choose to flip the switch on.

A restructure doesn’t change the money owed to the player, just changes when the pay out happens. When a team and a player agree to a restructure, the cap hit or base salary is lowered to a more manageable amount and the difference is paid out as a bonus. The bonus is then spread out evenly over the remaining years of the contract.

For example.

Player A has four years remaining on their deal with a cap hit of $16 million per year for the rest of the contract. The team and player A agree to restructure the contract to decrease this season’s base salary to $1 million dollars. The $15 million difference is then paid out as a bonus and then the cap hit is added to the final three years. So instead of the cap hit being $16 million per year for the remainder of the contract, it is now $21 million per year.

The problem with restructuring contracts is that you better hope that the players you restructure make it to the end of their contract otherwise you could end up with big dead money holds on your cap.

The Dallas Cowboys could restructure the following players:

Tyron Smith, Tackle

The Dallas Cowboys All-Pro Left Tackle may be the best draft pick they’ve made in the last 10 years. He’s been one of the best in the game at his position for nearly his entire NFL career and until recent seasons, had been incredibly reliable.

According to Over The Cap, if the Cowboys decided to restructure Smith’s contract, they could get $7.26 million added to the salary cap this season.

That’s a big number, which would help you get your hands on a top safety or defensive lineman in free agency. The reasons why you wouldn’t do it surround Tyron’s health.

He’s missed games each of the last three seasons because of back issues. He’s signed through the 2023 season, which is his age 33 season. It’s entirely possible that he continues to play at a high level through the end of the contract, but you’ll always be a bit concerned about his back.

Zack Martin, Guard

If Tyron was the best draft pick, Zack Martin is a close second. He’s been the definition of reliability as he’s provided elite guard play through the first five years of his career making the All-Pro team each of his first five seasons.

If I were managing the cap for the Dallas Cowboys, it would be a no brainer to restructure Martin who is signed through the 2024 season; his age 34 season. Offensive lineman can play at a high level well into their 30’s barring injury and Zack has the ability to be one of those guys. At his current pace, he could one day end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

By restructuring Martin, the Dallas Cowboys could save $7.36 million on the 2019 salary cap.

Travis Frederick, Center

Last summer was a scary situation for Travis Frederick and by all accounts his recovery is going well. It sounds like he should be ready to go by training camp, and if that’s the case, there’s no reason to believe that Frederick won’t be the player we’ve all come to expect and missed during the 2018 season.

He’s a leader on the offensive line. He’s an excellent communicator and really good at blocking other big humans.

Getting Frederick back for the 2019 season is as big of an upgrade as you could have on an offense. He changes everything. He helps set protections and call out stunts. He will make Conor Williams a better guard just by being present. The offense as a whole will be better by having Frederick available.

Like Smith and Martin, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t play out his current contract at a high level. Even if he’s only 75% of his previous self because of the illness, that’s still a really good football player who is worth every bit of the $10 million a year he’s getting paid.

Travis Frederick has five more years left on his contract. If the Cowboys were to restructure his deal, they could gain another $4.1 million in cap relief this offseason.

Tyrone Crawford, Defensive Line

If ever there was a player that was a victim of his contract it’s Tyrone Crawford. The Dallas Cowboys signed him to an extension thinking he would be the answer at the 3-technique defensive tackle spot. He was good on his rookie deal but his contract was more of a projection than a deal based on prior production.

Unfortunately, Crawford hasn’t lived up to his deal, but he’s been a reliable and versatile player for the Dallas Cowboys. His ability to play both at defensive end and defensive tackle has been huge over the years and he’s come up with some timely defensive plays.

Crawford has two years remaining on his contract that runs through the 2020 season and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Cowboys keep him around. He’s a leader on the defense and he gives you good quality snaps. As they continue to wait for Randy Gregory and/or Taco Charlton to take steps forward, Crawford is a guy that they like and will continue to find snaps for.

If the Cowboys restructured Crawford’s contract, they could get a little over $3 million in cap savings this year. $3 million may not sound like a lot, but in combination with the other moves they could make with the cap, it can help. Every bit helps when constructing a roster. That money could go to paying for the 2019 draft class.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Dak Prescott #4 and Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys celebrate after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Grand Total

The Dallas Cowboys front office has a lot of decisions to make this offseason and several of them will be in the form of extensions for their own players. They’ll have to figure out a way to use the contracts to their advantage.

If they did everything that could be an option to them, they could create another $48.22 million in space in the salary cap. If they didn’t release any of the “unlikely releases,” they could still free up another $33.72 million by releasing Lee and Hurns and restructuring Smith, Martin, Frederick, and Crawford.

So, they’ll be going into the offseason with at least $48 million in cap space, but through a few moves could have as much as $81-$96.22 million in cap space when it’s all said and done.

None of this even accounts for the way the Cowboys could structure the contracts of Elliott, Dak, Cooper, Lawrence, and Byron Jones. With some smart salary structuring, they won’t necessarily have to eat much of their cap hits in year one of their new contracts.

Don’t worry Cowboys fans. The Cowboys will be able to create enough money to get the things done that they want to get done. If they don’t sign anyone of note in free agency or extend your favorite player, it won’t be because they couldn’t afford to.

It’ll be because they didn’t want to.


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Player News

Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans

Jess Haynie

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David Irving

The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.

Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.

David Moore on Twitter

Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw

Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.

The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.

The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.

But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.

Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.

It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.

Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.


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