Should the Dallas Cowboys Release Doug Free?
As far as offensive line play this past season there was no linemen who played as poorly as Free. Free led the Cowboys in penalties with 15 (eight false starts and seven holds) which seemed to be a drive killers for the offense. Now he did have issues with protecting Tony Romo as well, which resulted in Jeremy Parnell getting worked into the rotation. His play did seem to improve but that could be due to the fact that he had conditioning issues which if he stays need to be addressed.
According to executive vice president Stephen Jones, you should not rule out Free returning in 2013. As it pertains to the salary cap he is scheduled to make $10.02 million this next season, but if the Cowboys cut him by June, 1 it saves them $7 million this season with dead money the following season.
Tony Romo Extension Talks
Romo is the hottest topic in Dallas and is going into the last year of his deal. The big question is do you give a big extension to a quarterback that will be 33 by the time the season starts? Now Romo has come under tremendous criticism in regards to his play. He has had issues with protecting the ball but a lot of that trouble comes from have little to no time to throw the ball.
Most recently Stephen Jones went on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas to discuss their intentions with Romo. The talks on his contract are informal at that this point but Jones mentioned that the Cowboys are not afraid to make their franchise quarterback their highest paid player. The consensus around Dallas would be a three to four year deal worth $13 to $16 million per season.
Are the Cowboys in the Market for a Running Back?
During Jones’ segment on the Cowboys flagship station he mentioned that they are likely to be in the market for a running back. This comment from the vice president pretty much closed the book on a potential return for Felix Jones in 2013. Behind DeMarco Murray, the Cowboys have two undrafted free agents competing for the third running back position.
This leaves an opening for a second running back that would need addressing come April. A couple of running backs that would be a second round target. First off Marcus Lattimore who was a first round lock before a horrific injury ended his season. Now from reports circulating he has been making strides in his recovery and he might be the type of player the Cowboys would take a flyer on just like Sean Lee or Bruce Carter.
Le’Veon Bell is the other running back target that comes to mind for this team. Bell is a punishing runner who brings size and power to this backfield. As big as he is Bell is very athletic with no issues with catching the ball out of the backfield.
Cowboys Won’t Tag Spencer
Going into last season the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer which brought him a paycheck of $8.8 million last season. Now that is very unlikely to happen again this season not only due to his change in position but Dallas has major issues with the salary cap.
With Spencer moving to the defensive end he will command a one year deal worth $10.6 million in 2013. This is in large part because defensive ends command more money than that of an outside linebacker. If they are able to work out a long term deal then Spencer will return but with cap issues and the impending long term deals of Lee, Carter and Dez Bryant this is very unlikely as well.