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Waiting on Leonard Davis

We're still waiting on the particulars around the imminent signing of free agent Leonard Davis. Two big questions remain - how much money did he get (especially guaranteed money), and where are the Cowboys going to play him. As for the money, I'll just wait until that is known to comment further on it specifically. But the idea that the salary cap has been raised to a level that you can't over-spend this year is -I believe - flawed thinking.

As with most everything else, if you're given a budget of money to use, most people will use every dollar up to the point where it runs out, and some will even go further. The same principle applies here. Because the salary cap went up, player's contracts are going up; they are rising to meet the equilibrium set under the new cap. Teams will use that extra money and sign players to bigger contracts and sign more players than they normally would because they have more money. Flash forward a couple of years after signing players in free agency and renewing contracts of your current players - like Terence Newman - and suddenly you're bumping up against the salary cap again and cap casualties come into play. Now, if you discover Davis - or someone else - is not meeting expectations but you've signed them to a long-term contract with lots of guaranteed money, you've put yourself in a bind again. Just because the cap room went up, you still have to use your resources wisely because in no time you will find yourself reaching the equilibrium between cap space and need of new players.

As for where he will play, my guess is that what happens with Marc Colombo will play a big role in that. The Cowboys could be pursuing a few different strategies. One, they aren't going to re-sign Colombo and Davis is the new right tackle. I'm an optimist, so I believe the Cowboys will re-sign Colombo, so I'm throwing this one out for the moment. More likely, the Cowboys are unsure about their ability to re-sign Marc Colombo, so Davis is insurance in case they don't. This also gives them some leverage in the negotiations with Colombo. On the other hand, the size of Davis' contract could be use by Colombo's agent in negotiations. The third strategy and what I'm hoping turns out to be the truth; Dallas signed Davis to play RG and the RT will either be Colombo, Pat McQuistan, somebody else signed as a free agent, or even a draft pick. I just want the Cowboys to have made the decision to move Davis inside.

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