Man, I’m telling you–Jerry Jones knows how to put up a facade with the best of them. The Dallas Cowboys have made a truckload of headlines over the past week and their colorful owner is taking all the credit. However, not all of the headlines are good, although that’s what Jones would have you believe.
It started with a handful of restructured contracts in an attempt to get under the 2012 salary cap. Jones condescendingly mocked a reporter who asked him whether or not the Cowboys could get under the cap by the March 12 deadline and then apparently decided to show off what he thinks are great negotiating skills when in reality, he’s the one who’s been had.
Sure, these restructured deals seem like great things, and they are–right now. But they will put Dallas in a hole again in 2014 and then an even deeper one in 2015 and beyond. DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ryan Cook all had their deals reworked with Jay Ratliff, Doug Free and Orlando Scandrick still to get theirs done. So basically, the Cowboys will have a ton of cap room this year to spend and then be in even worse shape over the next few seasons because this cap room doesn’t just disappear; it’s taken away from one season and added to another or a combination of others.
After all that, Dallas used up nearly $11 million of the freed up cap space to slap the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer for the second consecutive season. So much for the complete defensive overhaul to the 4-3; Spencer will be sticking around for a conversion from 3-4 outside linebacker, which will likely turn out pretty well for him and the team, but the Cowboys are paying way too much for a trial run that will get even more expensive this time next year if Spencer isn’t given a new deal.
Finally, the Cowboys cut veteran safety Gerald Senabaugh just 15 months after giving him a new five-year deal, which frees up $1.4 million in cap space for spending this offseason. The extra money is great, but who’s going to start at free safety? Unless Jerry has big plans for free agency and/or the 2013 NFL Draft at this position, the Cowboys are in high water.
For starters, Barry Church is a strong safety and he’s the only sure thing at either of the safety positions on the Cowboys’ roster right now. Danny McCray played admirably during Church’s absence last year, but he’s not ready to make the switch to starting free safety. The other options are Eric Frampton (also a strong safety) and Charlie Peprah, but neither youngster has proven he’s ready for a starting role, especially in a hole like free safety in a secondary that was spotty for years until 2012.
So basically the Cowboys have made a ton of “moves” that don’t add up to much. This is just another case of Jerry trying to make himself look good when in reality, everyone knows he’s just as clueless as ever. Just another day in the life of a miserable Cowboys fan.