Sifting through Thursday's Cowboys news
Questions remain, though, as well as work to be done. According to Todd Archer, the Cowboys sit about $5 million under the cap right now, but that doesn't count the likely $2.646 million (and possible $3.969 million) in tenders to their restricted free agents. Getting under the cap is one thing, but it's not the extent of Dallas' ambition. They'd like to get under it far enough so that they can move around in free agency, address needs and improve the 2013 roster. So here are two of the big questions to which people seem to want answers this morning:
1. How will this impact the Tony Romo contract negotiations?
As Todd points out, clearing about $6 million more in cap room by Monday would allow them to designate Spencer as their franchise player if they wanted to do that. But as nice as Spencer would look at defensive end in their new 4-3 alignment, I don't think that's what the Cowboys want to do. They'd like to have Spencer back, and would be happy to talk about a long-term deal with a 2013 base salary lower than the $10.6 million it would cost them to franchise him for the second year in a row, but franchising him would leave them too cap-strapped to address offensive line and other needs. And frankly, the size of the deal Spencer is looking to get after a career year playing on the franchise tag is likely more than the Cowboys want to spend to keep him. So while it remains possible, and Thursday's restructures likely made it moreso, I'd still expect Spencer to move on, and the Cowboys to go to whatever Plan B is for their four-man defensive line without him.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss this week's minicamp and Dez Bryant. Claiborne will join the show to discuss the latest Cowboys news all season.
Play Podcast Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and you won't believe who he says is the Cowboys' best player.
Play Podcast Cowboys wide receivers coach Derek Dooley joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about Dez Bryant's talent and potential.
Play Podcast Glenn "Stretch" Smith and Matt Mosley talk about their time at Day 2 of Cowboys minicamp and discuss Monte Kiffin's defensive principles and his growing relationship with the players.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL insider John Clayton joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Cowboys and Tony Romo missing OTAs.
Play Podcast ESPN senior NFL analyst Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss another busy week for the Cowboys at Valley Ranch.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss how Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and others spend lots of time with their receivers and if it matters that Tony Romo is not participating in OTAs.
Play Podcast Todd Archer joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss what he's looking for during the third session of OTAs, a potential Sean Lee contract extension and why people underestimate Miles Austin's value.