BACK on June 7th, I said that the Eagles signing of QB Carson Wentz to a 4 year extension, forces the Dallas Cowboys into a phone booth. I figured that those chickens would come home to roost at the end of the 2019-2020 season. However, events have conspired to actually hasten the demise of the Cowboys 2019 season, and likely beyond.
The first event was attempting contract negotiation with Cowboys QB Dak Prescott. A smarter team would have let the season start, gauged Prescott’s effectiveness or lack thereof, then made him an offer accordingly. Especially since they seem less than gung-ho, about committing to him long term for some reason.
Instead the Cowboys tried to get ahead of an inflating market, far too late into the process. If they were going to do that, they should have done so before a QB with lesser stats (Wentz), was inked to an offer commensurate with what franchise QB’s are going for today.
The second event was the “leaked” plan of Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott, to hold out if he doesn’t get a new deal, two years early. The Cowboys win when Elliott plays, and they lose when he doesn’t. If the Cowboys don’t pay him, they’re left with an over-rated, soon to be over-paid QB, throwing to their star (ugh, unintended pun) WR Amari Cooper, who’s on the last year of his deal, having said that he plans to play his contract out.
(FYI: Cooper is waiting to see what kind of money Falcons WR Julio Jones pulls down, to see what the market looks like. There is ZERO guarantee that he stays in Dallas.)
I won’t even mention all the other expiring contracts the Cowboys have to deal with at season’s end. As it stands, these three are problematic enough on their own, but they’re hitting all at once. And what’s crazy is that NONE of them needs to be!
The reason I say “it’s already starting” is because today the Cowboys cut WR Allen Hurns, after he refused a pay cut. He was scheduled to carry a 2019 cap hit of 6.25M (4M base, 1.25M signing bonus, 1M roster bonus), but cutting him saves the Cowboys his 4M base. This 4M is money that they can now reallocate.
What this is, is a cannibalizing of the roster. I say this, because this is just the first of these moves. Lesser Cowboys are being ground up, to ensure that Jerry Jones team can feed his stars.
This team’s starting QB, RB, and #1 WR are all playing with contracts on their minds. Either you have to prepare for the reality of losing one very shortly, or you have to realize that the only way to pay those three, is at the expense of their teammates. And don’t even entertain the notion of winning the division with such distraction looming.
Oh yeah. It’s already starting.