After releasing Donavon Kemp, the Dallas Cowboys have S Danny McCray back on the roster. The restricted free agent signed his tender for $1.323 million. McCray saw the most playing time of his career in 2012 filling in after Barry Church was injured and Matt Johnson was never able to overcome his preseason injuries, notching 71 tackles (per the NFL website) and an interception.
While McCray provides depth at a key position, he is much more capable on special teams. He had 18 tackles playing in that phase of the game and is arguably the best non-specialist that new ST coach Rich Bisaccia has to work with.
It is interesting to see this follow close on the heels of the Kemp release. Although I have no way to know if this is connected, and I have heard that Kemp's inability to participate in the offseason conditioning program played a part in the team's decision, the release does have the effect of helping offset the cost of McCray's contract.
I don't know if the NFLPA salary cap calculation reflects both the moves, but when I checked it after what should have been the last update on Friday, it showed Dallas with $4.394 million in space. If the McCray and Kemp moves have not been factored in yet, that would mean the team would still have about $3.47 million in space after they are. This still keeps them in play for adding another player without making any further moves, and taking into account the way the top 51 contracts are used to calculate the cap right now, they could still sign someone else for almost $4 million. This would still leave a free agent like T Eric Winston in play, just to pick one name totally and completely at random.
Stay tuned for any further moves leading up to the draft, and of course come back to BTB for wall-to-wall analysis of the picks.