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Three Cowboys veterans need new contracts

Nick Eatman reviews the status of the three veterans who can become free agents after the season. The good news is that the Cowboys are working on an extension for TE Jason Witten with the possibility that it could get done before training camp. The Cowboys have to extend Witten, he's turned into a top-flight TE and with the new 2-TE set becoming our base offense, it's even more critical we get it done. That's assuming we are going to run the offense post-2006, with or without Bill Parcells.

The Roy Williams contract will be a little more tricky. The standard set by Ed Reed will drive Roy's asking price. And while I and others may not think Roy is on par with Ed Reed - who, for my money, is the best safety in the league - Roy and his agent will probably look at that contract as a guideline.

Bradie James is the 3rd veteran who will be a free agent post-2006, but Eatman suggests they may wait and see what kind of year Bradie has before deciding what to pay him. As enamored as we are with the year James had in 2005, we have to remember that was the one and only year where James performed like a starter. So the Cowboys may wait to see if he can make it two years in a row before lavishing a new, big-money contract on him.

Justin Beriault has gone from the surprise of training camp last year, to injured player who missed a year, to player fighting just to stay in the NFL. The news last year was he had a bum knee that required microfracture surgery. That in itself is a risky surgery, but now we find out from Mickey Spags that he also had another kind of knee surgery called an osteotomy. So far, no one that has had this kind of surgery has made it back to the NFL. We didn't know it, but these are the same procedures LB Kalen Thornton had, and his knee didn't respond. That's the real reason Thornton was released a month ago. So far Beriault's knee is responding well, but training camp will be the real test.

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