At ESPN, Nathan Janke has composed a list of his ten most overpaid veterans in the NFL (unfortunately, it is located behind their paywall). Also unfortunately, it includes one of the Dallas Cowboys - and the player is one that is not going to come as much of surprise to fans of the team. JVM in the article refers to a formula the author has developed to determine how much a player should be worth based on his performance on the field, utilizing the often debated grades at Pro Football Focus.
5. Brandon Carr, CB, Dallas Cowboys
2015 cap hit: $12.7 million
2015 JVM: $1.8 million
Value differential: $10.9 million
There have been plenty of rumors that Carr could be cut or asked to take a pay cut this offseason, but at this point the Cowboys are stuck paying Carr a ton of money for the 2015 season. While most players on this list are still quality starters who are simply being paid more than they deserve, Carr was an outright liability for the Cowboys last season.
When quarterbacks targeted the receiver Carr was covering, they had an NFL Passer Rating of 116.6. His 849 yards allowed was the seventh-most yards allowed by a cornerback last year.
The Cowboys drafted UConn defensive back Byron Jones in the first round of the draft, so they could very well be planning for life without Carr already.
Not much to argue about there. It is just a sad affirmation of what we have pretty much come to realize. Hopefully Carr will continue the late-season improvement in performance he seemed to have last year, work out some kind of restructuring that reduces his cap hit, or both.
But his was not the only name on the list that had some connection to the Cowboys. Here are three other names that mean something to fans of the team in one way or another.
3. Eli Manning
Odell Beckham Jr.'s presence helped Eli Manning a lot in 2014, but he remains just an average NFL quarterback. Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports
This one is just fun, especially considering all the debates we have carried out with fans of the G-men about whether Manning or Tony Romo is the better quarterback. Their argument usually hinges on the fact that Manning has been the quarterback of two winning Super Bowl teams, which is a typical overvaluation of the quarterback's role. And one of those victories was highly dependent on a play where Manning probably should have been whistled in the grasp, along with a once-in-a-lifetime catch by David Tyree.
Of course, the quarterback position is often vastly overpaid. There are not enough quality signal callers to go around, and teams wind up paying a lot of money for players that are not worth it. It is just amusing to see the elite Eli named on this list.
4. Calvin Johnson
Megatron was once the best receiver in the game. Once. But now there are better ones. More importantly, younger ones.
He turns 30 on Sept. 29, and after this season he still has four years left on his contract with a cap hit of over $17 million in all four years. Despite his tremendous talent, Johnson will likely remain among the overpaid for the next several seasons.
The Lions made the common mistake of paying an aging player for his past performance. And his overinflated deal is a part of the problem the Cowboys are having working out a new deal with Dez Bryant.
In the peculiar collective economy that is the NFL, when a team severely overpays one of its players, it doesn't just hurt itself. As this shows, it can have a ripple effect for the rest of the league. With the limitations of the salary cap, having the price forced up for some top players because one "sets the price" too high, it forces other teams to put too much of their cap space in that position, costing them elsewhere. This is precisely what the Cowboys are struggling with in getting a long-term deal worked out for Bryant. They are holding the line at the moment on the guaranteed money, reportedly $20 million, which is the sticking point for him. Had Detroit not paid out so very much for Johnson, it is possible that Dallas and the other teams who have top receivers seeking more money might have already worked things out.
7. Adrian Peterson
Remember how badly so many of us wanted to see the Cowboys find a way, any way to sign AD after DeMarco Murray departed for much greener pastures (and a contract that may well see him on this list in the not too distant future)?
No running back in the NFL makes close to as much money as Adrian Peterson. Tom Dahlin/Getty Images
There is no question that Peterson has already amassed a record that makes him one of the best running backs to ever play the game, But in 2013, he was showing subtle signs of decline.
During the 2013 season, he tied his career low with 3.0 yards after contact per carry. Some of that can be blamed on a deteriorating offensive line, but it's also a sign that he has slid a bit since his dominant 2012 season.
Age is age. It is going to catch up with Peterson one day, even though he has weathered it better than most. Minnesota was determined to keep him despite his high price. And if he had become available, it is all but certain that Dallas would not have paid the price required to get him. That's a good thing.
It's just another list, and based on one person's evaluation. It is really no more than offseason filler, but that is largely all we will see until training camp opens. It was just interesting to see how the list related to the Cowboys.