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Dallas Cowboys News & Notes: New Cowboys Plan - Get Younger, Get Cheaper, Get Better

Latest Cowboys headines: Dallas is steering away from players over 30 years old; the Cowboys are banking on a healthier defense; bonus payments are handed out to players.

After a weekend in which Cowboys news slowed to less than a trickle and we were forced to beef up our news roundups with pictures of players getting married or engaged, the news wires started humming again yesterday. You can read up on some of the major developments right here on BTB.

NFL Draft 2014: Cowboys Get Three Compensatory Picks

Cowboys Backup Quarterback Questions: Kyle Orton Likely To Play In 2014

Has Jerry Jones Bid Adieu To "Risk" As The Cowboys' Key Organizational Principle?

For everything else, check out the latest headlines below.


New plan for Cowboys: Stephen Jones reveals Dallas steering away from players over 30 years old | David Moore, DMN
Looks like the Cowboys are learning from past mistakes in which they've paid significant money to players past the age of 30.

"If we don’t learn from what has bitten us then shame on us," said Stephen Jones, the team’s chief operating officer. "Unfortunately, we have been paying guys who are over 30 years old a lot of money up front and it hasn’t worked for us."

"I’m not saying that Hatcher won’t work out. I’m not saying that Ware won’t work out. But it hasn’t worked out for us, so we have to do something different."

"It’s a young man’s game and there is a lot more risk when you’re signing guys past the 30 mark."

Stephen Jones: Cowboys not better on paper than last year but will be better cause they will be healthier - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
Stephen Jones is pleased with the Cowboys' offseason moves but understands that the signings don't make the 2014 line better than the 2013 line - on paper.

"When we were sitting here last year we thought we were better because we thought Ware was going to be ware and hatch was going to be Hatch and Spence was going to be Spence and Rat was going to be Rat," Jones said at the NFL Owner's Meeting in Orlando. "And those were pretty damn good football players before the injuries hit. This time last year, we loved our front because I thought everyone was going to be healthy and back and they didn’t. So I don’t think as much of what we have on campus as to what we had on campus last year if you’re asking that. But as it turns out, do we think we’re going to be (better) because they had injuries and were older, I would certainly hope so."

"If we play better on defense, then we should be a better team," Jones said. "Maybe Mincey and Melton and Mcclain and whoever we draft end up being healthier than those guys, so we end up being better."

Details Of Melton’s ‘Bet-On-Himself’ Cowboys Contract " Mike Fisher, CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Fisher provides a rundown of Melton's contract, which Stephen Jones describes as "Henry is dead-set on betting on himself." And Melton's agent, Jordan Woy, agrees.

"I proposed it to the Cowboys this way because it’s fair to both parties," agent Jordan Woy told Mike Fisher. "In the end, Henry will be paid like the Pro Bowl-caliber he is."

Where to play Tyrone Crawford? - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
There's been a lot of speculation a bout where Crawford would play, and Archer tries to provide some clarification:

Before tearing his Achilles on the first day of training camp last summer, Crawford played mostly left defensive end in organized team activities and minicamp. There were thoughts this offseason that he could move into the 3-technique spot vacated by Jason Hatcher but now owned by Melton. With Melton on board, Crawford can settle in at defensive end once again.

Crawford’s versatility is a major plus. He can play outside in running situations. He can move inside to defensive tackle in passing situations. That’s why Rod Marinelli was so intrigued by Crawford last year, but he never really got to see him in action.

Dallas Cowboys play wait and see on Anthony Spencer - ESPN Dallas
Despite a lot of uncertainty about his surgically repaired knee, Stephen Jones said the team is open to Spencer returning in 2014.

"We think the world of Anthony," Jones said Monday. "Hopefully he’ll get where he needs to be. I’d like to hope he’d get healthy and play for us."

Leary Ranks Third In Performance Based Pay For 2013 - Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas
Ronald Leary is set to earn extra $307,104 in performance-based pay for 2013. This figure ranks him third in the league behind Bears RT Jordan Mills ($318,244) and Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict ($315,848). Archer explains that each team is given $3.46 million to divide among its players and the money doesn't count against the salary cap. The only drawback is that the money won't be paid until 2016. 12 Cowboys players earned at least $90,000:

Safety Jeff Heath: $247,273.09
Defensive tackle Nick Hayden: $156,788.33
Wide receiver Terrance Williams: $153,719.19
Defensive end George Selvie: $141,704.71
Linebacker Kyle Wilber: $137,825.71
Safety J.J. Wilcox: $134,132.05
Tight end James Hanna: $112,413.69
Center Travis Frederick: $101,334.51
Running back DeMarco Murray: $98,646.61
Safety Barry Church: $96,884.40
Linebacker Ernie Sims: $90,679.43

Cowboys file complaint against Jay Ratliff, hope to get money back - Clarence Hill, Star-Telegram
The Cowboys have filed a complaint against Jay Ratliff, Jerry Jones said at the NFL owner’s meetings. Ratliff was released in October and signed with the Bears shortly afterwards. The complaint "stems from him not playing for us under the premise of injury, and later playing for someone else," Jones told the Star-Telegram.

According to a source, the Cowboys are looking to recoup signing bonus money, base salary from 2013 and money for a suite Ratliff purchased at AT&T Stadium.

That last point seems to be a little petty. Anyway, none of this will help the Cowboys' cap in any way, so it's not something I'm particularly bothered about either way. Since this dispute could have broader implications and possibly set a precedent, the NFL management council and NFL Players Association are also involved.

2014 NFL draft - Seven-round order - ESPN
ESPN has the rundown of all 256 picks in the 2014 NFL draft. The Cowboys have the following 11 picks:

1st round: pick 16
2nd round: pick 47
3rd round: pick 78
4th round: pick 119
5th round: pick 158
7th round: pick 229 - from Bears for Dante Rosario
7th round: pick 231
7th round: pick 238 - from Chiefs in Edgar Jones trade
7th round: pick 248 - comp pick
7th round: pick 251 - comp pick
7th round: pick 254 - comp pick

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