The Dallas Cowboys Should Cut or Trade These Five Underachievers
When Jason Garrett took over as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys it didn’t take long for him to start reshaping the roster.
In fact, his presence was felt almost immediately after being named the full-time head coach. Garrett began by cutting underachieving talent from the team, from guys who didn’t fit his scheme to guys who weren’t earning their paychecks.
This season he’s come under scrutiny because the team is losing and doesn’t resemble Garrett’s personality or what he stands for. “Red-J” is a firm believer in fixing and learning from mistakes, but his team doesn’t seem get it. I don’t know if it’s due to scheme, lack of talent or lack of experience, but his team continues to make the same mistakes.
The Cowboys are averaging about 12 penalties a game, but what’s most alarming is the personnel committing the penalties. It’s not rookies. It’s not the new guys. It’s guys who have been with Garrett most of, if not, all of their careers. In fact, three of the top four penalized players on the team are Doug Free, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten.
Another problem, which the Cowboys have had to deal with, is the lack of production from some of their higher-paid players. I personally believe that if a player is not the best at his position, he shouldn’t be the highest-paid either. And, if a player is not going to perform like his job matters to him, then he shouldn’t be on the field.
While we’re on the subject, I think the Cowboys need to let the following five players go during the upcoming off-season, or try to trade them and get something in return. Bottom line is, they’re not earning their paycheck.
Scandrick was supposed to flourish in Rob Ryan’s defense, so the Cowboys shelled out a five-year $27 million deal with $10 million of it guaranteed, but he didn’t. So, this offseason the Cowboys decided to invest a lot of money into the cornerback position with the additions of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne.
The team is also facing the possibility of re-signing former first-rounder Mike Jenkins. If I had to pick, I would invest the money in Jenkins.
Quite frankly I don’t think that Scandrick’s $3.7 million cap hit in 2013 is worth his on the field productivity. That number balloons to $5.8 million in 2014 and $7.3 million in 2015. That’s too much money for a guy who could be no better than the team’s fourth cornerback.
Connor signed a two-year deal this off-season and so far, he hasn’t lived up to expectations. The thought was that he would be the starter at middle linebacker next to Sean Lee, but was quickly surpassed by Bruce Carter who at this point in his career is a better linebacker and athlete.
Connor hasn’t seen the field much because of nagging injuries, but will now start, due to the season-ending injuries suffered by Carter and Lee. I can’t, however, see the Cowboys taking a $4.3 million cap hit to keep him around in a back-up role in 2013.
Livings signed a five-year $18 million deal this offseason, but has so far been a disappointment. Don’t really know what the team was expecting, but whatever that was Livings hasn’t delivered.
I expect the team will address the gaping hole called the interior of the offensive line this off-season. It would be smart to cut ties with Livings while his cap hit is $2.4 million and not after it balloons to $4.1 million in 2014.
This could have easily been Mackenzy Bernadeau, but he proved to be more valuable than Livings because he can play center.
Free has been the most disappointing offensive lineman on the team. It seems like he’s good for at least one false-start penalty a game and is technique-wise one of the worst linemen in the league.
Free’s cap hit in 2013 will be $11.1 million and $12.1 million in 2014 and might be too much for the Cowboys to absorb. If the Cowboys decide to keep Free, I can’t imagine him starting next season with the progress that Jeremy Parnell has made.
Since being handed a $54 million extension in 2010, Austin has been a disappointment. At times, he’s the clear-cut No.1, and at times he’s irrelevant. That kind of inconsistency doesn’t warrant the $8.3 million cap hit the Cowboys will have to absorb in 2013 to keep Austin, at least not in my eyes.
Austin’s no longer the No.1 receiver on the team, that job has gone to Dez Bryant. Also, with the emergence of Dwayne Harris and Cole Beasley it’s a matter of time before Austin is deemed too expensive to keep around.
I said it earlier this year; unless Austin has a monster season he could be playing his last season in Dallas. He’s got five games to make the Cowboys rethink if keeping him around is worth the $8.3 million.