Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: Cowboys' Annual Salary Cap Dance Begins

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Latest Dallas Cowboys headlines: Sean Lee and Orlando Scandrick have already restructured their contracts, and Romo is sure to follow. But what are the Cowboys going to do with DeMarcus Ware?

Lee, Scandrick Give Cowboys Needed Salary-Cap Relief - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com
The Cowboys created nearly $7.8 million in cap space when they restructured the contracts of Sean Lee and Orlando Scandrick. Both contracts were designed from the start to allow restructuring this year. The same provisions are built into Tony Romo's new contract, and his restructure will yield another $10 million.

Dallas Cowboys restructuring contracts of Tony Romo, Sean Lee to near salary cap - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
The Cowboys will be less than $1 million over the salary cap after restructuring Tony Romo early this morning, Todd Archer writes.

According to a source, the Cowboys will rework Romo's contract to create $10 million in salary cap space. The Cowboys will convert $12.5 million of Romo's $13.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, dropping his salary-cap figure from $21.773 million to $11.773 million.

Cowboys need to be careful with DeMarcus Ware - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Hill writes that the Cowboys should think twice before cutting the defensive icon, and that the trio of Romo, Witten and Ware - "this generation’s version of the Triplets" - deserve one more bite at the apple together.

How Can Will McClay Help Cowboys In Offseason? - Bryan Broaddus, DallasCowboys.com
Broaddus writes that one of the things that sets McClay apart from his predecessors like Larry Lacewell, Jeff Ireland and Tom Ciskowski is that McClay's background is more on the pro side instead of the college side.

What I like about this change for the front office and coaches, is that McClay knows this league backwards and forwards. One of the key component [sic] in building your 53 man roster is knowing who you are playing. College scouts are outstanding at telling you about that safety at Florida State but very few of them can tell you who is lining up there for the Washington Redskins.

Dallas needs help at LB — bad year to find it in free agency | Brandon George, DMN
George notes that the Cowboys signed free agent linebackers in each of the last two years, but both Connor and Durant regressed when they came to Dallas. Durant may become a cap casualty, and Ernie Sims likely won't be back either, so the Cowboys may have to go looking for free agent help.

On next Kaepernick deal and advanced data - ESPN
At the recent MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, 49ers president Paraag Marathe said that advanced statistics "absolutely play a big role" in contract negotiations, especially Kaepernick's ongoing contract negotiation.

"Both sides in a contract negotiation, both sides are using analytics and data to help support -- it's confirmation bias to the max, everybody's trying to find evidence that supports whatever theory or contract demand they want to make," he said. "They can cut it and slice it in a lot of ways that help you."

Later in the discussion, Marathe talked about the importance of a quarterback to a team's success, and let loose with a quote that should have Tony Romo fans grinning for at least a week:

"That's the single biggest differentiator," he said [of the quarterback position]. "If you can get by with average talent, but if you have a superior quarterback, you'll see the best quarterbacks -- the Hall of Fame quarterbacks -- it doesn't matter what kind of talent they have, even if they have really bad talent around them, they're going to finish 7-9 [or] 8-8. They're never going to go 3-13."

The Top Ten Free Agent Acquisitions of 2013 — FootballPerspective.com
Chase Stuart writes that big free agent contracts don’t tend to live up to expectations, and last year was no exception. But he still looks at the top ten players that bucked the trend, and gives the Cowboys' George Selvie an honorable mention. He also offers this sobering thought:

I reviewed the top 20 free agents identified by Pro Football Talk at the start of free agency last year; thirteen of those players wound up switching teams in free agency, but few were impact players.

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NFL daft: A partial history of draft day's terrible decisions and total failures - SBNation.com
This is an article from last week, but I'm including it anyway, for three reasons: 1) We are not currently being saturated with Cowboys news, 2) it is an interesting article, and 3) it allows me to include the nifty chart on the right in this morning's news roundup.

Why dysfunction within Cowboys' inner workings should make you queasy | Kevin Sherrington, DMN
After Rainer Sabin from the same paper squeezed the topic completely dry on Saturday, Sherrington tries to milk last year's Floyd kerfuffle one more time this week.

Evaluating Tony Romo: Analytics or skill? - Calvin Watkins, ESPN Dallas
Cavin Watkins valiantly tries to use stats to show why stats don't matter. We'll give him a mulligan on this one.

In terms of NFL likability, Peyton Manning and Michael Vick are on opposite ends of the spectrum | FOX Sports
More quality journalism: A marketing research survey of 1,000 US consumers found Dez Bryant to be among the 10 most disliked players in the NFL, taking his rightful place alongside a convicted dogkiller, a guy who's twice been accused of rape, and the always-respectable Ndamukong Suh.

2014 NFL Draft: Winners, losers, surprises in combine vertical jump - CBSSports.com
The expression "leap up draft boards" is nowhere more appropriate than when measuring the vertical jump at the annual Scouting Combine. Rob Rang looks at who stood out in 2014, comes down hard on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and has some very nice words for Ra'Shede Hageman and Ryan Shazier.

Surprises: Scouts knew Ohio State outside linebacker Ryan Shazier was explosive, but few would have predicted that he'd lead the combine with a 42-inch vertical -- especially after measuring in heavier than expected at 6-1, 237 pounds. Shazier's vertical (and all-around stellar workout) is among the reasons why he's overtaken Alabama's C.J. Mosley as the top 4-3 linebacker on some boards.

Quarterback Ball Velocity at NFL Combine 2008-2014 | Ourlads.com
Ourlads' Guide to the NFL Draft is the only source that gives the number for the quarterback's velocity at the NFL Combine. Perhaps now we can quantify what a "noodle arm" is.

Are key players fed up with Coach Harbaugh? - Niners Nation
49ers players are coming around to the way 95% of football fans are feeling.

What Would You Do As The Eagles General Manager? - Bleeding Green Nation
Resign.

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