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Cowboys’ Job Security: Secondary & Special Teams

Jess Haynie



Cowboys Blog - Cowboys' Job Security: Secondary & Special Teams

With eight games in and at least eight to go, it seemed a fine time to evaluate the roster. There are many different perspectives you can go with, but if you know me at all then you know I love to put my General Manager hat on. Today we're going to look at players within the context of job security, the likelihood that they will still be Cowboys next season.

We've been going through the entire roster the last few days. If you missed any of those articles, here are some easy links so you can catch up:

We wrap up today with the defensive backs and our special teams players.


Morris Claiborne - 2016 Unrestricted Free Agent

Claiborne has played well enough, and stayed healthy enough, this year to keep Dallas interested in his services. He turns just 26 in February and could be a solid starter for the next three or four years. There's certainly room for a superior player as your top corner, which they may already have in Byron Jones, but Claiborne would be a welcome number-two corner on most teams.

Things have worked out well for Dallas to have leverage at the negotiating table, also. Claiborne hasn't been so good that teams will be in hot pursuit in free agency. Assuming he still wants to be a Cowboy, Claiborne should be happy with the security of a multi-year offer at a reasonable starter's salary. If his agent tries to play hardball, though, I wouldn't hesitate to let him go finish his career elsewhere.


Orlando Scandrick - Signed through 2019

Even if they wanted to, Scandrick's contract doesn't offer much financial value for a release until at least 2018. There's no reason to think he won't be back next season, having a full year to recover from his injury. You have to worry a little about his ability play slot corner after a major knee injury, given how much shifting and change of direction is involved. Given the money, though, it's a concern that Dallas will have to live with for now.


Brandon Carr - Signed through 2017

Dallas can free up anywhere from nearly $10 to $7 million in cap space by cutting Carr next year. He has not been bad this year, but you rarely see teams passing on that kind of cap relief unless the player is truly special. They may try again to seek a reduced contract with him, but Carr and his agent were not entertaining the idea last offseason. Assuming they keep that stance going forward, Dallas likely has no choice but to part ways.


Byron Jones - Signed through 2018

I wasn't entirely sure which spot to put Jones in, given how much he plays safety. What's so interesting about him is that even though he may be most ideally skilled to play safety, Jones may also be the best cornerback on the team by next year. That flexibility is actually huge for Dallas, allowing them to pursue either position next year and get the best option for the entire secondary. After what was arguably his breakout game last week against the Eagles, Jones appears in line to impress us more and more as the season continues.


Corey White - 2016 Unrestricted Free Agent

White has put in some solid work so far in Dallas and could be attractive to teams in free agency. You know Dallas loves his versatility as a corner or safety option, so I think they will look to bring him back. Hard to say what can happen on the open market, though.


Tyler Patmon - Signed through 2016

Patmon did not build on last year's unexpected rookie success, having now lost his spot on the depth chart to White. I think he'll be back to compete for a job and his experience will be a plus. Hopefully he finds ways to grow his game.



Barry Church - Signed through 2016

Dallas can save close to $3 million by cutting Church next year. It's a move that may not come initially but is highly possible after free agency or even the draft. Dallas has to get more dynamic in its safety play. Moving Byron Jones there would help, but there's a case to be made for upgrading both spots.

Church is a very solid player and better consistently than J.J. Wilcox, but the financial issues work against him. $3 million goes a long way toward paying a free agent upgrade in his first year. He probably returns to start for more one more year, but I think it's almost equally possible for him to released.


J.J. Wilcox - Signed through 2016

Even if he's a backup next year, Wilcox shouldn't be going anywhere. He's due just $847k next year and would be a fantastic backup and special teamer at that price. He could also wind up starting if Dallas elects to cut Church. It's been a good thing that Jones has been worked in at safety so much this year, somewhat weening Wilcox off his starting spot if need be.


Jeff Heath - 2016 Restricted Free Agent

Heath's work on special teams will likely keep him around for at least one more year. Assuming Dallas looks to get better and deeper at safety, which they absolutely should, I see Heath becoming the new Danny McCray as almost a pure specialist with little role on the actual defense. He'd be the fourth safety, at best.


Danny McCray - 2016 Unrestricted Free Agent

As just mentioned, I see Heath moving down into McCray's role next year. He's still young enough that Dallas could bring him back for a year or two, but hopefully they're going to be looking to get better overall at safety.



Dan Bailey - Signed through 2020

Recently I've seen Kelsey Charles, formerly of, trying to coin the nickname "Dan Nailey" for our kicker. I'm sorry, but that sounds too much like a porn actor's name.

Last week I tried Dan "Middle Man" Bailey, because that's where all his kicks go. If you support this idea, make sure to use it on your own social media!


Chris Jones - Signed through 2017

I'm appreciating Jones more and more as he stays in Dallas. He's exceptionally good at directional punts and landing the ball on or near the sidelines. His distance has also improved over the last few years. There will always be a certain threat of competition when a young leg is brought in to camp, but Jones is as entrenched as ever in his job.



L.P. Ladouceur - Signed through 2017

If you didn't know, the L.P. stands for "La Perfeccion." Ladouceur is flawless in his work and will have a place in Dallas until he decides to retire. Given what he's asked to do, there's no reason he couldn't play until upper 30s and even low 40s if health and desire allow.



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!

Player News

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018

Sean Martin



Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018 1

Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.

Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of...

While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.

Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladoucer for 2018

Dallas Cowboys LS L.P. Ladouceur

L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018" in the comments below. You can also email me at, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker 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:

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.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



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.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

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.

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