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The cost of cutting Marco Rivera

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Mickey Spags takes on an issue near and dear to my heart, the release of Marco Rivera. Mick was asked what kind of cap hit we would take if we released the veteran guard.

Mickey: The Cowboys gave Rivera an $8.3 million signing bonus on his five-year deal. He has played two seasons, which means three-fifths of that signing bonus still must be accounted for, or $4.98 million. That's quite hefty. Then again, he can be assigned to be one of those June 1 decisions, which means he'd count $1.66 million this year if released after that date and then the remaining $3.32 next year. Much more palatable. The Cowboys will have time to decide. Rivera will have time to rehab. As for someone on the team to take his place, remember former head coach Bill Parcells was quite high on Cory Procter, although inactive for all 16 games. Cowboys might have to take a look. They also have Joe Berger, a late-season signing after he was released by Miami.

It looks like we'll have to wait until June 1st for official word on Rivera's future status with the Cowboys. But free agency and the draft might give us a pretty good hint on the Cowboys' thinking.

For the record, we have six players who are still scheduled to become unrestricted free agents. Marc Colombo is the next in line; the Cowboys are expected to intensify their talks with Colombo now that Andre Gurode is signed. The others are: Al Johnson, Al Singleton, Martin Gramatica, Kenyon Coleman, and Tony Parrish.

Don't forget, Patrick Crayton and Mat McBriar are restricted free agents who we have to get signed. The other RFA's are Jacques Reeves, Nate Jones, Ryan Fowler, Lousaka Polite, Junior Glymph, and Brett Pierce. Currently, the Cowboys have around $20 million of cap room.