The Cowboys decided to sit center Andre Gurode against the Vikings on Saturday night, in a move that generated more headlines than the actual preseason game. Stephen Jones called the move a 'business decision'.
Quoting a source, Matt Mosley of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reports that Gurode will be asked to take a pay cut. The five-time Pro Bowler is scheduled to make a $5.5 million base salary and count $7.2 million against the salary cap in 2011, with both numbers set to increase by an extra $1.0 million in 2012.
Garrett told reporters after Saturday's game that this was part of an ongoing effort to manage the salary cap, and that a decision is likely going to be made today.
"There are a lot of issues we've had with some of our veteran players with this salary cap situation that we're in. Some of those moves happened prior to training camp. A lot of discussions to try to make those situations work out happened prior to training camp. And this probably falls into that same category."
"We're going to do some business with him tomorrow. We feel like he's as healthy as he's been. We're going to try to work something out that's a favorable situation for both sides."
Phil Costa had been penciled in as the potential starter on some early depth chart estimates, but that was before Costa sprained a PCL in his right knee. Kevin Kowalski, an undrafted rookie free agent out of Toledo stepped in on Saturday evening at center, and by all accounts handled himself well, and Hudson Houck concurs.
"We'll have to look at the tape," Houck said. "My first impressions were that he played well. Kevin has done a really good job coming in here and having to play this game without much work with the starters. I'm sure there are things he needs to work on, but I thought he did a fine job."
In addition to Costa and Kowalski, Dave Arkin and Bill Nagy are also alternatives for the center spot. With the depth at the position, the Cowboys obviously see an opportunity to ask Gurode to take a pay cut. Jerry Jones said as much after the game.
"He has good competition," Jones said. "There are alternatives for us there, so we can sit down and talk about it, see what we might work out."
Gurode, 32, underwent offseason knee surgery and missed the first two weeks of training camp. Barring a pay cut, the Cowboys could cut Gurode outright, as a trade probably isn't an option. Nick Eatman from the mothership writes that a team source said the Cowboys have talked to other clubs about a possible trade, but Gurode's contract makes that a highly unlikely scenario.
Though Jones declined to put a time frame on resolving Gurode’s status, it’s clear it will be done before all teams are required to cut their rosters to 53 players in six days.
"It will be an immediate thing," Jones said.