As the Cowboys prepare for the 2011 NFL season there are many questions. How fast will the players be able to learn the new Rob Ryan defense? How will the offensive line respond with Montrae Holland and rookie Tyron Smith in as starters on the right side? Will the Cowboys go after a safety in free agency or just play with the players they are already have?
The Cowboys have not been active in free agency since the lockout ended. They have also cut many players like Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Marc Colombo and Lenard Davis just to get under the new salary cap. They have resigned key players like Doug Free, Kyle Kosier, Gerald Sensabaugh, Jason Hatcher and Marcus Spears.
I understand that the 2011 season hasn’t even started yet, but with so many salary cap issues currently for the Cowboys things will not get any better come 2012. The Cowboys have some key players whose contracts end after this season. Add to that over $20 million of dead money against the 2012 salary cap. The Cowboys are going to be faced with a lot of important decisions come next season.
Some of the players that are in the last year of their contracts are…
Obviously the Cowboys are not going to be able to sign everyone. There are decisions that will have to be made. Some very tough decisions that may just affect the team in many areas. Would Bradie James be the top priority for the Cowboys to resign? Or maybe the Cowboys are thinking that the future is now at the middle linebacker spots with rookie Bruce Carter (depending on his recovery from knee surgery) and Sean Lee. Matt McBriar has been one of the leagues best punters. Do the Cowboys make sure he is resigned or do they let him go? What happens if Anthony Spencer has a great season and really excels in the new defense? There are so many questions for many of the players on the list.
The first obstacle is the salary cap and which players the Cowboys can afford to resign and which ones they believe they can afford to let go. I’m no cap expert, but it’s going to be an enormous challenge for Jerry Jones come next season. It’s scary to see so many players becoming free agents on one team. There looks to be big changes for the Cowboys in the future. Time will tell if those changes will make them a better team or not.