Listen to an audio version of this article on Bumpers!
Have We Seen Precedent For The Tony Romo Situation In Carson Palmer?
The calendar may read March, but the CBS commercials for The Masters indicate to sports fans everywhere that April is just around the corner. CBS is relevant not just for sports fans but members of Cowboys Nation, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last Friday that they would like Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo to join their broadcast team.
The Tony Romo saga is one that has worn on for quite some time. Word on the street is that with the annual NFL Owners meetings happening in Phoenix things could pick up steam, but the precedent for this situation would indicate we all need to buckle in for a much longer ride.
"Precedent? There's NEVER Been A Situation Like This One With Tony Romo Before In NFL History!"
As sports fans we are all occasionally guilty of being prisoners of the moment. It's the best ever, the most unique, or the only time this or that has ever happened as far as the current sports landscape is concerned. There's a common misconception that this is the case with how the Dallas Cowboys appear to be handling the Tony Romo situation within their franchise.
How are they handling it exactly? Well Tony Romo is still a member of the Dallas Cowboys, despite supposedly being told that he'd be released on March 9th, 2017. Why is he still on the team, you ask? Tony Romo counts $19.6M against the Cowboys salary cap whether released (a June 1st designation could move half of that amount to 2018), traded, or retired. If the financial hit to the team is the same, why release him for free? That's how the Cowboys are handling it.
If you're honest with yourself you'll admit that you'd probably rather see Tony Romo retired than playing for someone else. This would ensure that the only uniform he ever slipped over his shoulders was that of the Dallas Cowboys - his last in a starting effort was the color rush, talk about curses... - and prohibit someone else from getting better by acquiring his services. Why does it matter if someone else gets better especially to the point that Tony Romo can win a Super Bowl? Newsflash here, but if Tony Romo wins the Super Bowl this season that means that the Dallas Cowboys didn't.
"This Sounds Unique, So There Obviously Isn't Any Precedent For This Ever... Like Ever Ever"
This is where the misconception comes in. Due to how beloved - although that sure wasn't the case even just two years ago - Tony Romo is by Cowboys Nation, the thought is that if the Cowboys "forced" him into retirement it would be an act of cruelty unbeknownst to NFL front offices. Wrong, my friend.
Carson Palmer, now Arizona Cardinal and former Oakland Raider, once upon a time was the number one overall pick (2003, coincidentally the same year Tony Romo went undrafted) by the Cincinnati Bengals. Palmer was the real deal for almost a decade in Cincinnati, but after the 2010 season began to grow tired with the team's inconsistencies... it probably didn't help that Bengals fans booed him when he crossed 20,000 career yards.
Now you're most likely a Cowboys fan so you don't know the horror of rooting for the Bengals and their tumultuous history, but Carson Palmer is one of the greatest Bengals that ever lived.. so essentially the same type of player in franchise lore that Tony Romo is. Despite this, the Bengals refused to trade him. Carson refused to play for the Bengals anymore and therefore threatened retirement... a route he ultimately chose as Cincinnati and the rest of the NFL prepared for the 2011 season.
Bengals Vs. Palmer: A Retirement Born Of A Bluff
Carson Palmer, then 31, retired from the National Football League. Here we have a classic case of a franchise quarterback "forced" into retirement by the team he did so much for. The Bengals didn't exactly have a Dak Prescott in the waiting when this whole dealio went down, but they did draft TCU's Andy Dalton that year so they were properly prepared.
No one here is saying that the Cincinnati Bengals are the Dallas Cowboys or that Carson Palmer did as much for them as Tony Romo did for his squad, but the point is that Carson Palmer lost his end of the bluff. He threatened retirement and the Bengals called him on it, so he had no choice. Should Tony Romo, who's about to turn 37, retire the Cowboys will be on the hook for $19.6M against their salary cap... which is once again the exact same amount that they'd have allotted against them if they released or traded him.
Tony Romo is in the exact same situation with the Dallas Cowboys that Carson Palmer once found himself in with the Cincinnati Bengals. The question that remains to be answered for Romo is whether or not someone will covet him enough, even though he's six years older than Carson was when he was traded for, to come get him. We've seen this song and dance before, and if this is anything like it then we're going to be waiting for a long time.
The Cincinnati Bengals Made Their Own Bluff, And The Oakland Raiders Bit Hard
If Tony Romo decides to go into broadcasting and chooses FOX over CBS, maybe he'll be hanging out around the World Series this October... and maybe that's when an NFL team will finally get desperate enough to pony up and trade for him.
The Palmer/Bengals standoff did indeed last all the way until October of 2011, and Cincinnati was extremely smart to wait for him. In return for Carson Palmer the Bengals received:
- Oakland's 2012 1st Round Selection, which became CB Dre Kirkpatrick.
- Oakland's 2013 2nd Round Selection (would've been another 1st if Oakland had made the AFC Championship Game in Palmer's first two years there), which became RB Gio Bernard.
Cincinnati turned Carson Palmer into two cornerstone players that their franchise uses to this day, even if it's in a losing/pathetic effort. I remind you again that Tony Romo is six years older than Carson Palmer was when this went down, but this is why the Cowboys won't "just release" Tony Romo as many fans have petitioned for.
The only incentives that the Cowboys can receive for Tony Romo are trade compensation or the peace that he won't pose a threat to them if he's retired, plus the potential of someone getting desperate further down the road like the Raiders did with Palmer. If Romo's situation ends up mirroring Palmer's even more then we all need to clear our calendars until October and just schedule a whole bunch of waiting.
Terrance Williams Contract Creates 2018 Job Security
There's been a lot of talk about what the Dallas Cowboys will do at the receiver position this offseason. While there's a great divide on what the team should do with Dez Bryant, there's a fairly unanimous opinion that Dallas should find an upgrade over Terrance Williams. No matter where he ends up on the depth chart, though, Williams' contract should keep him on the roster in 2018.
Last offseason, Terrance signed a four-year, $17 million deal to stay in Dallas. Because we are now just in the second year of that deal, it is cost prohibitive against the salary cap to release or trade him.
Williams is scheduled to count $4.75 million against the 2018 cap. If Dallas were to cut him, it would accelerate his remaining guaranteed money and create $7.25 million in dead money this year. He would cost more against the cap off the roster than on it.
Even the June-1st provision doesn't help. Williams' dead money in 2018 drops to $4.75 million, which is a net zero against his existing cap hit. It would also push $2.5 million of dead money to 2019. There's no benefit there, and you lose an experienced player who knows your system.
If the Cowboys do like their WR depth enough to want to move on from Terrance, one option is to try to trade him. A trade would lower the cap penalty to $3.75 million and save $1 million. If he's traded after June 1st, it would save $3.5 million against this year's cap.
Of course, it takes two to tango in this scenario. Williams hasn't scored a touchdown since 2016 and has never proven he can take on a significant role in an offense. He was serviceable when Dez Bryant and Jason Witten commanded more attention, but he's a low-end WR2 at best and many teams likely wouldn't want him in their top 2-3 receivers.
Perhaps something could happen during training camps or preseason, when injuries may make other teams desperate. Then again, something could happen in Dallas that makes them less willing to part with Terrance.
As it stands, it seems unlikely that Terrance Williams won't be a Cowboy in 2018. And really, that's not bad thing.
Even if he gets pushed down the depth chart, Terrance would be a good insurance policy against injuries or any other issues that could happen between now and September. $4.75 million is more than you'd like to pay your fourth WR but it's a one-year problem.
If the Cowboys do add more WR talent this offseason, there is a trickle-down effect that strengthens the entire club. Williams, with his experience, is an upgrade over Brice Butler as the fourth receiver.
Therefore, unless circumstances both here and elsewhere allow Dallas to find a trade partner, Terrance Williams should be back next year.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
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.
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... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
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.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Want to help make Inside The Star better?
We’re collecting feedback from our readers about the site. It only takes <2 minutes to complete, and can be done from any device.
Don’t worry, your information will not be shared with anyone but me (Bryson T.).
Star Blog11 hours ago
Should Cowboys Reunite Shea McClellin With Rod Marinelli?
Star Blog1 day ago
Xavier Woods, the Real Reason Cowboys Didn’t Pursue Tyrann Mathieu?
NFL Draft2 weeks ago
Mauricio’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Cowboys Steal Defensive Talent
Dallas Cowboys6 days ago
Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Cowboys 2018 Free Agency: What’s Left Before Market Opens?
Dallas Cowboys2 weeks ago
Do the Dallas Cowboys Have Any Trade Assets?
Star Blog1 week ago
3 Former Penn State Alumni Cowboys Could Target in Free Agency
Star Blog1 week ago
Cowboys Defense: Bigger Need at Safety or Defensive End?