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Dont Believe The Hype Over Tony Romo’s Contract

Jess Haynie

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Tony Romo

In the days since Tony Romo's much-lauded press conference there's been plenty of speculation about his future. While the possibility of retirement lingers, the general consensus is that he will be be starting for another NFL team in 2017.

Obviously, one of two things will have to happen for Romo to join a new club; he will have to be traded or released from his Cowboys contract. As you can imagine, there are major salary cap implications when a franchise quarterback is involved.

Unfortunately, even some of the biggest personalities in sports don't quite understand how it works.

Skip Bayless on Twitter

Think how much cap $ Jerry would have to beef up the D if he traded Romo! Sure, risks injury to Dak. But so does every team w franchise QB.

Skip spends a lot of time with his head up his own ass, so it's not a surprise that he may not understand the intricacies of the NFL salary cap. Unfortunately, these inaccurate statements create ripples throughout the NFL universe and leave fans confused.

Here are some of the prevalent myths about Tony Romo's contract and how it will affect the Cowboys salary cap going forward. Let's bust 'em up, starting with Skip's false statement.

Myth #1 - Trading Romo Creates Lots of Cap Space

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that trading a player has a different effect on the salary cap than releasing them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It is effectively the same transaction when it comes to your cap. The only difference is that you get a draft pick or player for you trouble.

Whether he's traded or released, Tony Romo will still cause $19.6 million in dead money. There won't be any fantastic post-Romo spending spree in 2017.

Myth #2 - Romo Will Cost Us More Money if Traded/Released

Cowboys Blog - Cowboys vs. Redskins Recap: Last minute win, last game for Romo?I've seen several freaking out about that $19 million as if it creates financial chaos for the Cowboys. That couldn't be farther from the truth.

If he was still on the roster in 2017, Tony Romo would count $24.7 million against the salary cap. His trade or release actually cut his cap hit down by $5.1 million dollars, giving us back that much in usable cap space.

Remember, nobody thought Dak Prescott was going to become the Cowboys starter this soon. Dallas has done its salary cap planning based on the assumption that Romo was still going to be here in 2017. Now they will actually have $5 million more to spend than they were likely expecting.

Myth #3 - Romo's Cap Hit Goes Away if He Retires

Another misguided viewpoint; Romo's dead money remains the same even if he retires. It's really no different than a trade or release. It's called "guaranteed money" for a reason.

Teams have sued players to recoup bonus money in the past but have to cite fairly egregious breaches of contract to win. An example of this would be if the Cowboys wanted to sue Rolando McClain for the signing bonus they gave him in 2016.

Obviously, Dallas would never do this to Tony Romo.

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭

Here's what you need to know about Tony Romo's contract and the Dallas Cowboys' salary cap, courtesy of OverTheCap.com. It's really not that complicated.

Romo's $19.6 million in dead money will either be absorbed in 2017 or can be split between 2017 and 2018. If split, he will count $10.7 million against next year's cap and then $8.9 million in 2018.

Cowboys Headlines - Tony Romo: Whatever Comes Next, Thank You For 10 Great YearsIf Dallas eats the entire dead money hit next year, they will still have $5.1 million in extra cap space than if Romo was still on the roster. If they split the dead money, the cap space jumps up to $14 million in 2017.

Remember, Dak Prescott counts next to nothing against the cap while under his rookie contract. Dallas has the luxury to eat the money from Romo's deal because they're not paying anything for his replacement.

Dallas will certainly have a choice to make about splitting the dead money or absorbing it all in 2017. It's going to come down to how many moves they anticipate making next year, both internal re-signings and free agent acquisitions.

That's also a major factor in whether or not they seek to trade Tony Romo.

Trading Romo before that June 1st deadline means they have to eat the full $19 million right away. They may be fine with that, though, especially if it means they're getting a player or draft pick of consequence to help them.

Okay... maybe it's a little complicated, after all.

The point here is that the Cowboys will NOT be anymore cap-strapped by moving Romo than if they kept him. In fact, they will have more flexibility than they would have otherwise. They can deal with his dead money cleanly and easily.

Nothing to worry about.



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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BREAKING: Cowboys TE Rico Gathers Receives One-Game Suspension

Jess Haynie

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Rico Gathers

Tight End Rico Gathers already had an uphill climb to return to the Dallas Cowboys' 53-man roster in 2019. But that climb just got even steeper; the NFL handed down a one-game suspension to Gathers today for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.

If he does make the team this year, with Dallas or anyone else, Rico will have to sit out Week One of the season without pay.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys TE Rico Gathers is suspended without pay for the first game of the 2019 regular season for violating the NFL's policy and program on substances of abuse. This is from his arrest in 2018 for marijuana possession.

Gathers' chances of returning in 2019 were already hurt by Jason Witten's reversed retirement. He dropped to fourth on the TE depth chart behind Witten, Blake Jarwin, and Dalton Schultz, and Dallas only kept three tight ends last year.

The Cowboys also added Codey McElroy as a developmental player during the offseason.

While the suspension is news, the incident that led to it is not. Dallas already knew about the arrest, which occurred in early September of 2018, and have kept Gathers around up until now.

The NFL's substance abuse system is pretty formulaic, so the Cowboys likely anticipated this suspension all along. This may not change anything about how they value Rico Gathers for the 2019 season.

Nevertheless, a player who can't help you in Week One and is a liability for ever longer suspensions down the road is definitely a red flag against Gathers' job security.



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Antwaun Woods: Cowboys DT is Just Getting Started

Matthew Lenix

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Antwaun Woods is just getting started

Antwaun Woods went undrafted in 2016 coming out of USC. After two years with the Tennessee Titans, he would only see one game of action. In May of 2018, the Cowboys signed Woods to a two-year contract worth 1.05 million. Probably seen as nothing more than a practice squad guy, Woods would quickly show he was much more than that.

The newly acquired Woods started his climb to stardom in Oxnard during training camp, and not for making plays. One day during practice he got into a friendly game of fisticuffs with All-Pro Center Travis Frederick. The team even posted the video on social media, which had fans buzzing and wanting to know who he was.

All-Pro Running Back Ezekiel Elliott echoed those thoughts when he saw Woods during camp. "Honestly, when we first got him, we were like, 'Who is this guy?'. He was giving Travis Frederick, one of our best players, hell all camp. Just trying to figure out where this guy came from," Elliott said.

Once the regular season started it was clear the Cowboys had found a hidden gem. Although the sack numbers won't dazzle you, seeing as he only registered 1.5, you could forget about running the ball anywhere near him. Woods has amazing quickness for a 300 pounder which allows him to extend his arms before offensive lineman can get a hand on him.

How significant is that? It becomes that much easier to bull rush and blow running plays up in the backfield.

When you can get your hands on an offensive lineman immediately when the ball is snapped, he's basically under your control. You can move him around like a puppet on a string. Essential for a 1-technique nose tackle. With that being said, there should be no surprise the Cowboys finished fifth against the run in 2018 with Woods manning the middle.

Woods draws a lot of double teams, and he handles them well. Having the ability to take on multiple linemen frees up your other playmakers. As the anchor in the middle, Woods made life a lot easier for not only his fellow defensive linemen but the team's two young star Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. Allowing them to roam freely like Lions in the Serengeti makes running backs essentially Zebra's carrying the ball, cooked food. So much so that both tallied over 120 tackles and were the only teammates in the NFL to rank in the top 15 in that category.

There's nothing but upside with Antwaun Woods. He's only had 18 games of experience in three years. He's already a stud, but with limited snaps, it can only mean he'll be even more formidable going forward.

The Cowboys have a loaded defensive lineman group with around 15 bodies, plenty of competition. All signs point to him remaining the starter, but it's not guaranteed. Even with that being said I don't expect a complacency from Woods, especially with DeMarcus Lawrence and Robert Quinn looking like the only sure starters on the defensive line. Plus this is a contract year for him, so you know he'll be even more motivated as he tries to maximize his dollars. We've only seen the tip of the iceberg from this raw talent, setting up for a potential breakout year for him in 2019.



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Cedrick Wilson: Cowboys WR Could Shine After a Year Off

Matthew Lenix

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Cedrick Wilson could shine after a year off

The departure of Cole Beasley to Buffalo via free agency in March left a hole at the slot receiver position in Dallas. The team signed veteran Randall Cobb about a week later, but only to a one year deal. Names like Tavon Austin and Allen Hurns along with Cobb are looked at as the replacement for Beasley but don't forget about Cedrick Wilson.

Selected in the sixth round in 2018, Wilson was coming off an impressive and highly productive two-year career at Boise State. Tallying 139 receptions for 2,640 yards and 18 touchdowns in just 26 games.

When OTA's began last season, the rookie was already turning heads with his route running, ability to create separation and athleticism, but unfortunately, disaster happened not long afterward. Wilson would suffer a shoulder injury that placed him on injured reserve for 2018, the same shoulder he had issues with in college. A not so fairy tale beginning to an NFL career.

Although his time on the field was short-lived last summer, he definitely caught the eye of wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal.

"Ced's a savvy, smart football player. He picks things up really well. He applies them to the field. In terms of technique, he's one of the best if you watch him. His stance and start is really good. He comes off the ball with low pad level. He's eating up ground and then has a nack to make a big play over the top on a big post," Lal said.

Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb make up a very formidable receiving core, and adding a healthy Wilson to that could work wonders. His experience on the outside and the slot gives offensive coordinator Kellen Moore plenty of options. Slot receivers are usually harder to bump off the line with the extra few yards of cushion they get, giving them more options route wise seeing as they can go inside or out a lot easier than outside receivers. That's where Wilson's supreme route running can come into play. Also, with his ability to separate on the outside and beat corners deep, you can play him opposite Amari Cooper and put Cobb in the slot with a combination of either Gallup, Austin or Hurns in a four-wide receiver set, the possibilities are endless.

A setback can be a blessing in disguise if approached in the right manner. Wilson hasn't let the year off derail his focus on what he's trying to do in Dallas.

"Coming back off the rehab was tough in general. But definitely a year of just seeing how everything goes, the speed is definitely slowing down. Just getting back in the playbook and learning from older guys of what I need to do and doing what the coaches expect of me," Wilson said.

The competition won't be easy for Wilson, though, as other young up and coming receivers are fighting for roster spots as well. UDFA's (Undrafted Free Agents) Jon'Vea Johnson and Jalen Guyton will also be fighting for snaps during mini-camp, with the former already making waves during OTA's. Reggie Davis has also turned a few heads in the summer, a fellow UDFA himself trying to find a home after bouncing around the league between four different teams since 2017.

It's all about health for Cedrick Wilson at this point. Can his shoulder hold up enough to allow his skill set to make a contribution to the Cowboys in 2019? The talent is there, along with the praises of his position coach, now it'll be interesting to see if this potential diamond in the rough can shine under the bright lights of AT&T Stadium.



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