5 Dallas Cowboys Who Must Be Kicked to the Curb Before Free Agency
Jason Garrett – Dallas Cowboys
Another season has come and gone, and for the third straight year the Dallas Cowboys finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs on the last game of the season.
As the Cowboys prepare for the 2014 NFL season, the team faces some tough decisions regarding some of their marquee players; specifically, defensive end DeMarcus Ware, who is scheduled to count about $16 million against the salary cap, and wide receiver Miles Austin, who is scheduled to count about $8.24 million against the salary cap.
As I pointed out earlier this offseason, there are moves that the Cowboys can make to get under the salary cap, which involve some of their more high-profile players. This isn’t an article about getting the Cowboys under the salary cap, if you want to read that, I recommend that you click the link above.
While the Cowboys aren’t great, they’re not awful either. They have some pieces in place that can, and should, carry the franchise moving forward. In this article, we will discuss which players the Cowboys can move, without jeopardizing the future of the franchise.
One quick thing before I go any further, you won’t find Austin on this list because it simply isn’t beneficial for the Cowboys to release him prior to the beginning of the free agency period. In fact, if Austin is released as anything other than a post-June 1 cut, the Cowboys would acquire about $7.85 million in dead money and only get about $394,000 in salary cap relief.
So, as the Cowboys continue to try to build a winner these are the five players who should be shown the door before free agency begins.
Justin Durant, LB, Dallas Cowboys
I’ll tell you flat out; I am a Justin Durant fan. I love the intensity and charisma that he brings to the defense. Unfortunately, his price tag is a bit steep, and the Cowboys would be better off cutting him.
Durant is scheduled to cost the Cowboys about $1.45 million against the cap in 2014 while Kyle Wilber, who seems to have found a home at strong side linebacker, will only cost $679,805 against the cap.
Cutting Durant would cost the Cowboys $200,000 in dead money while at the same time saving them $1.25 million in cap space.
Phil Costa, C, Dallas Cowboys
At this point, Phil Costa is nothing more than an expensive back up thanks to the job that first-rounder Travis Frederick did in 2013.
Scheduled to cost about $1.72 million against the cap, the Cowboys would be wise to release Costa. Releasing Costa would cost the Cowboys $225,000 in dead money while at the same time saving them $1.5 million in cap space.
Jermey Parnell, RT, Dallas Cowboys
Like most of you, I keep expecting to see Jermey Parnell take that next step, but he hasn’t.
Parnell is scheduled to cost about $1.83 million against the cap and cutting him would save the Cowboys $1.5 million in cap space, while only costing them $333,334 in dead money.
Jakar Hamilton, S, Dallas Cowboys
I really expected more out of Jakar Hamilton in 2013. The door was wide open at safety, but he could not capitalize on the opportunity.
When he did get a chance to play, the game looked too fast for him, and he struggled. Cutting Hamilton would cost the Cowboys $18,667 in dead money while saving them $483,117 in cap space.
Jeff Heath, S, Dallas Cowboys
In 2013, Jeff Heath surprised me by making the final roster cuts after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good. In fact, there were times where he was flat awful.
Cutting Heath would cost the Cowboys $1,334 in dead money while saving them $494,332 in cap space.