With the dead money from cap casualties tightening the Cowboys cap situation in 2011 and 2012, J & J (Jerry and Jason) may look to clear even more cap space this season in an effort to accelerate dead money and minimize what many consider a two-year "penalty" after releasing players with significant contracts. Not only does this improve the "cap" health of the Cowboys in 2012, it may provide a significant amount of experience to younger and inexperienced players. In the short-term, can the Cowboys remain competitive?
Cornerback Terence Newman $8.0M through 2014 - ??? (probably wouldn't save much in terms of salary cap given the remaining years on T-New's contract. Would he be willing to take a Marcus Trufant pay cut?) Alan Ball $1.2M Mike Jenkins $1M Orlando Scandrick $5.0M (new) Brian McCann cheap Josh Thomas cheap Mario Butler cheap
Defensive Line Igor Olshansky $3.35M through 2012 - ??? (perhaps a no-brainer) Jay Ratliff $3.75M Marcus Spears $4.0M (new) Jason Hatcher $2.0M (new) Kenyon Coleman $1.75M (new) Josh Brent cheap Sean Lissimore cheap
Inside Linebacker Bradie James $3.5M (last year under contract) - ??? (Carter isn't ready and I'm not sure Lee can last through an entire season) Keith Brookings $2.2M (last year under contract) - ??? (Love his leadership, but what is left in the tank?) Sean Lee $1M Bruce Carter $1M Kenwin Cummings cheap Orie Lemon cheap
WWJD (What would Jerry Do)? Other than some serious experience and/or leadership, would our team be significantly worse off (from a talent perspective) without Brookings, James, Newman, and Olshansky? It feels like a new era in Dallas... perhaps it's time to cut ties with more than just Andre Gurode?, or maybe that's enough for now!