For those of you who don't play role-playing games, min-maxing is the art of taking hits to game stats which have less in- game effect in order to devote more resources to the things that really affect the gameplay itself. While that's not exactly what needs to be done, here, the fact remains that Dallas is up against it, cap-wise, and really needs to make some changes to its starting line up. These two things require a delicate balance, but Dallas is helped by the fact that there is considerable talent at positions of need in this year's draft. My proposal for having the broadest affect on the team follows:
1) restructure Carr as intended -- he fits the system, he's very young, and is, at worst, a solid player for years to come
2) if possible, avoid resigning Romo. This maximizes flexibility in the next couple of years as well as keeps dead money down a little, which is important, considering the June 1 designees. This is not reflective of dissatisfaction with Romo's performance, just trying to keep projected costs flexible in the next two years.
3) cut Connor, Spears, and Vickers. designate Sensebaugh and Free as June 1 cuts (or ask Free to negotiate a salary reduction and be swing tackle). This frees up approximately 14.8m.
4) Sign Lemon and/or Sims for LB depth. sign Ronde Barber as FS insurance against younger starters and to help the secondary learn the system. Sign Costa.
5) Trade down in Rd 1. Suggested trade partner is Rams-- 18 for 22 and 78
6) draft as follows:
22) Okafor, DE
47) Johnson, OT
78) Warford, G (this one may not fall to us)
80) Lester, FS
111) Gillisee, RB
144) Knott, OLB
165) Line, FB
I think that provides us the best chance to find changeover in the starting o-line as well as quality rotation on the d-line.