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Dallas Cowboys Release Center Andre Gurode

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Clarence Hill from the Star-Telegram reports that the Cowboys and Andre Gurode have decided to part ways.

Just a few months ago, Andre Gurode made the NFL Network's The Top 100: Players of 2011, coming in a comfortable 57th, a surprise for many, including most Cowboys fans. For the series, 413 active NFL players cast their votes to determine who the top 100 playmakers in the NFL are today.

That means that Andre Gurode was voted by his NFL peers ahead of teammates Miles Austin (70), Tony Romo (72) and Jay Ratliff (75) as well as many other top notch NFL players, including Colts center Jeff Saturday (59), the only other center on the list.

Yet at a $5.5 base salary and with a $7.2 salary cap hit, the price of keeping Gurode appears to have been too steep for the Cowboys. Gurode will now count $1.66 million against the salary cap this year and the same amount next year. For those willing to look closely, the warning signs have been there for a while now. CBSsports' Pete Prisco opined back in early June that Gurode had fallen out of favor with the Cowboys staff:

Overrated: C Andre Gurode. He went to the Pro Bowl last season. How? He was really bad. Just ask Dallas' scouts and coaches.

And with a new regime in place that is truly serious about creating competition, the end was nigh for the Cowboys' longest-tenured player, and Jerry Jones has implicitly also given his blessing to what is clearly a Jason Garrett personnel decision:

"Jason Garrett is doing an outstanding job of looking, evaluating, putting the emphasis on ‘I’m evaluating on not what you’ve been rewarded, not what your Pro Bowls are, but how are you playing right now?’ And it’s working. I think that’s what you’re seeing in the offensive line. But it’s all over the team."

Good bye and good luck, Andre Gurode