The 2015 NFL season concluded on Sunday, with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos defeating the Carolina Panthers in a sloppy Super Bowl by the score of 24-10. This very well could have been Peyton Manning's final game, as it likely should be, because what else does he have to prove?
In a game where he only completed five passes of 10 or more yards, and 13 in total, Manning found a way to persevere and avoid the big mistake to do his job and win a historic Super Bowl game.
In doing so, he cleared a final hurdle that many had set for him, in winning his second championship.
After this game, I couldn't help but think of one thing. After seeing the adversity that Manning went through to likely end his career on top, I shifted my focus to Tony Romo. As Dallas Cowboys fans, we need no reminders of the value of our quarterback Tony Romo.
Even without a Super Bowl, for us, he should have nothing left to prove.
It should be universally well understood that Romo has given his all in every single snap he's taken with a star on the side of his helmet, and now is also likely staring down the back end of his career - with durability concerns looming.
So, why can't 2016 be Romo's year? By this I mean, sadly, that "Romo's year" may not mean the 3,705 yards and 34 touchdowns we saw in 2014. However, his 2016 season can draw some similarities to Peyton Manning's 2015.
Romo will give it his all as we know, and rely on other guys to step up and make the plays available to them. Yes we can expect a fair share of dazzling plays from #9, but now more than ever Romo needs others to step up. It's what championship teams do.
A Cowboys defense that showed some very positive signs in 2015 will have to continue to make plays in 2016, while Darren McFadden, Dez Bryant, and the rest of the offense will equally be required to help Tony.
If all of this comes true, I see no reason why the Dallas Cowboys can't replicate what the Broncos just did - giving Tony Romo his first Super Bowl trophy.
So, if this is it Peyton, Cowboys Nation thanks you for an awesome career! 2015 certainly wasn't our year, but it feels right to call it yours.
Now what will we be calling 2016, Cowboys fans? I say, let's make it the year of Tony Romo!
Dallas Cowboys Restructure Travis Frederick’s Contract, Clear Cap Space
Patience is a virtue for football fans everywhere this time of the year, especially those of the Dallas Cowboys. A team known for using free agency to deal with their own expiring contracts and players, Cowboys Nation has been anxiously awaiting an addition to improve this roster before the draft. While the wait will continue for outside help in Dallas, the Cowboys have created $7.5 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Center Travis Frederick.
C Travis Frederick will restructure his deal to help clear up roughly 7.5M in cap space for the #Cowboys per source informed
Restructuring the contracts of their cornerstone players is nothing new for the Cowboys. Rarely doing so with a clear "next move" in sight, the market for top FA talent at WR and OL may have already passed the Cowboys.
Having the space to negotiate with available players now opens the door just slightly further for Earl Thomas or Tyrann Mathieu acquisitions to become realistic. Reportedly, the Cowboys have inquired about both safeties (Thomas via popular trade talks and Mathieu as a free agent, released by the Cardinals) and have been met with price tags the Jones' were forced to turn away.
Giving up assets for players that will warrant large future contracts is not currently the Dallas Cowboys' way, but being able to sign somebody in free agency has been. To avoid a repeat of 2017, a season arguably derailed as soon as the team's free agent class failed entirely, the Cowboys will need to find proven players that can contribute on the market in the coming weeks.
With the help of the anchor to their star-studded offensive line, the Cowboys can come to this market with slightly thicker wallets now. Keep the optimistic tweets alive, and tip Travis Frederick accordingly.
Cowboys Place 2nd Round RFA Tender on DL David Irving
One of the more anticipated Cowboys free agency moves has finally happened. Defensive lineman David Irving has been given the 2nd-round Restricted Free Agent tender, which would result in a $2.91 million contract for 2018.
Source: the Cowboys have used a 2nd round tender on DT David Irving. The cost is $2.91 million.
If another team offers Irving a contract, that would have to send their 2018 second-round draft pick to the Cowboys.
There was no doubt that Dallas would extend an RFA tender to Irving, one of the bright young stars on their defense. The question was at what amount; they could have gone with the $4.1 million tender which raises the compensation to a first-round draft pick.
With a difference of only about $1 million, some might argue that the Cowboys went lower to entice other teams to try to sign Irving. Perhaps they don't foresee giving him a big long-term deal next year, so want to get something for him now.
It's a logical argument, and one that means there may be more to this story before the offseason ends. For now, though, David Irving's closer to remaining a Cowboy than he was yesterday.
REPORT: Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick Has Requested Release
Cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested to be released by the Dallas Cowboys, according to a report from ESPN's Todd Archer. The veteran has been with the team since 2008, when he was drafted in the fifth round.
Archer's report can be found here:
Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has requested his release from the team, according to a source. Scandrick hopes to get into the free-agent market when it opens Wednesday. Cowboys seem to have moved on at corner with Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis,... https://t.co/oBgAn2Riqt
The end of Scandrick's run in Dallas comes as no surprise. He had fallen behind the youth movement at cornerback with Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown all arriving in the last two seasons. Now with talk that Byron Jones may move back to CB, there's just not place for Orlando.
Unfortunately for the Cowboys, releasing Scandrick doesn't provide any great salary cap relief.
If Dallas cuts Scandrick outright, they will get back about $1.4 million from his $5.3-million cap hit in 2018. If they make him a June-1st cut, the cap relief increases to $3 million and pushes $1.6 million of dead money into 2019.
If not for all their younger options, the Cowboys might have elected to stick with Orlando for one more season. But given what they already have at corner, Dallas was likely planning to release him even before this request.
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