5 Dallas Cowboys Who Shouldn’t Be Back in 2014
The Dallas Cowboys’ 2013 season came to a screeching halt at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 17; when the smoke cleared and the dust settled, the Cowboys were once again 8-8 and had missed the playoffs on the last game of the season for a third consecutive year.
Now, Jerry Jones’ “win now” approach to football has his team way in over their head in salary cap problems. So, as the team begins to prepare for the Draft they are trying to figure out what type of roster moves they can make to free up some cap space.
Let me put it into perspective for you, the NFL salary cap is expected to be $126.3 million in 2014, and as of right now the Cowboys’ salaries total about $149 million. I’m not a math genius by any means, but the Cowboys are going to be about $22.7 million over the cap. The Cowboys of course need to get under the salary cap before they can conduct any business in 2014.
I expect that the team will restructure some contracts in an attempt to get under the cap. Three of those contracts include quarterback Tony Romo’s contract, middle linebacker Sean Lee’s contract and cornerback Brandon Carr’s contract. If the Cowboys restructure Romo’s and Lee’s contracts they can create about $13.4 million in cap relief. Restructuring Carr’s deal will create about $4.7 million.
The Cowboys could also restructure defensive end DeMarcus Ware’s contract further driving the team into the hole down the road or they may ask him to take a pay cut following his disastrous 2013 season. The last option would be to cut the future Hall of Famer and bite the bullet on his $16 million cap figure from which the team stands to gain about $7.5 million in cap space, but would have to eat about $8.6 million in dead money.
Then there’s wide receiver Miles Austin, who hasn’t lived up to his $54 million extension. It has been rumored that the Cowboys will designate Austin as a June 1 cut, which would create $5.5 million in cap space, but the team would have to eat about $5 million in dead money.
Now that all that is out of the way, let's take a look at five Cowboys, who shouldn’t be back with the team in 2014.
Cook was a nice fill in when Phil Costa went down, but after the team re-signed Costa and drafted Travis Frederick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, there is no reason why Cook should be back with the team in 2014.
Waters was a nice addition in 2013, but going on 37, he shouldn’t be in the Cowboys long-term plans. I know Mackenzy Bernadeau isn’t the greatest guard in the league, but he certainly made a case for himself in 2013, and should be the starting right guard in 2014.
I really wanted Sims to succeed in with the Cowboys, but that didn’t happen and won’t happen. He didn’t cost the Cowboys much, but his play is as bad as anyone that I’ve ever seen. He offers the Cowboys no true value and shouldn’t be back in 2014.
It pains me to say this because I love No. 97, but this is a business, and the Cowboys cannot make the type of financial commitment to Hatcher that he’s looking for. His selection to the 2014 Pro Bowl all but sealed the deal there. But, even if he hadn’t been selected to the Pro Bowl or had a breakout season, the Cowboys cannot afford to hand a 32-year-old a bunch of money, so Hatcher won’t, and shouldn’t be back wearing the star on his helmet in 2014.
Austin is a shell of the player that burst onto the scene in 2009. Both Dez Bryant and Terrence Williams have surpassed Austin in production and the team simply cannot afford to keep him on the payroll. I fully expect the Cowboys to part ways with Austin during the offseason. Unless he takes a major pay cut, he shouldn’t be back in 2014.