Admittedly, I have given very little thought to T.O.’s contract status. In fact, I give very little thought to much of what will happen after the season, in free agency and the draft. For me, it’s all about what’s going on right now. What a great season we are having so far, I never imagined we’d be 11-1 at this point in the season. We have basically forgotten what it’s like to lose a game. Yeah, we lost to the Patriots but that was a game that I thought we could lose even though I hoped like crazy that we would win. Anyway, all of that is just a long way of me saying with the season we’re having, I’m not putting much thought into any after-the-season activities.
But Todd Archer brought up T.O.’s contract status in an article today. Remember back when we signed him? There was a lot of talk about how it was crazy that the Cowboys made that kind of commitment and spent that kind of money on a player that was considered a pariah by most teams. I remember even thinking that a little, wondering why we just didn’t give him an incentive-laden contract for a year to see how he works out. Wow, that seems like ancient history now. With the 20/20 view of hindsight, I’d say we signed him relatively cheaply and we should have locked him up for longer.
I have no idea what T.O. thinks about his contract and whether he wants to extend or re-new the terms, but I do know one thing: His contract calls for him to get $7 million next year and the way he is producing that seems like a bargain. Also, what is Cowboys’ management thinking? Well, the negotiator, Stephen Jones, says this:
"I don't want to speculate on what happens after this contract," executive vice president Stephen Jones said, "but Terrell is a very driven guy, a very disciplined guy. Right now he's enjoying playing the game and enjoying being around this team. If things continue where we're having success, I'm sure there might be something down the road."
I’m not trying to stir the pot and create something out of nothing. As it stands now, T.O. is signed through next season at a very reasonable rate. So what do you guys think? Will T.O. want to re-negotiate after the year? Should the Cowboys try to extend his deal for a few more years? Should we just let it go and wait until after next season to re-sign him? Not looking for controversy, just looking for opinions.
The Lions will supposedly test the Cowboys’ pass defense this week. To some extent, that’s true, but the definition of pass defense is sometimes too narrow. I agree that the secondary will see a lot of passes thrown in their direction and I’ve stated a few times this week that the Cowboys secondary has to make sure tackles after the catch. Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald are little water-bugs that can make you pay with yards after the catch. The Cowboys defensive backs have to get them on the ground after the catch.
But to me, the big element of pass defense this week is not the secondary, it’s the front seven. DeMarcus Ware, Greg Ellis, and the rest need to put pressure on Kitna. The Lions offensive line is woeful and has a lot of trouble protecting him. The best way to stop their passing attack is to put Kitna on his butt when he drops back, or at least create enough pressure so that he has to get rid of the ball before he’s ready. If the Cowboys can consistently do that then the rest of their offense is in a pitiful state.
Looking ahead, Nick Eatman suggests DeMarcus Ware as Defensive Player of the Year, while Todd Archer puts Wade Phillips’ name into the hat for Coach of the Year. Both very reasonable suggestions, but much will hinge on how the Cowboys finish the year, not how they started it.