MOUNT JACKSON, VA
Any chance the Cowboys try and bring back Josh Brent? I know publicity-wise it might not be popular but lots of guys get second and even third chances in the NFL.
Nick: I think they will probably look into it. But I think they need to be convinced that he is changed and that there are people in the organization who can help him. Obviously Jerry Jones will be widely criticized for doing this, but at this point, there isn’t anything he does that won’t garner some criticism. Defensive tackle is certainly a need, but this situation is bigger than that. They have to see if Brent is capable of actually playing football. And that’s not only physically but mentally, as well.
David: I’m not sure I see it from a purely football standpoint. When there was no controversy surrounding him, Brent was an OK player. He made 31 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 34 career games – hardly Pro Bowl production. When he’s released, it’ll have been roughly 18 months since he’s played in a game. So you have three things to worry about: the negative attention it brings to the team, the question of whether he can still play and, if he can still play, is he actually worth a roster spot? It seems smarter to just move on, in my opinion.
Why aren't Jerry or Stephen interested in franchising
Nick: Your logic isn’t bad here at all. I see your point. But remember, the Cowboys aren’t really trying to pay either Spencer or Ware that kind of money, either. They’re hoping to trim Ware down fairly low from his $12 million base and if Spencer comes back, it’ll have to be at a bargain price because of his injury. Last year, they were able to squeeze under the cap for Spencer’s tag by creating room with restructured deals. They won’t do that this year – and can’t really – so I don’t if the Cowboys even have the option to franchise Hatcher.
David: I agree with Nick about the financial logistics, but I wanted to add one more thing. Hatcher will be 32 when the season starts and the next contract he gets may well be his last one. The reason a lot of players dislike the franchise tag is because it forces them to risk a full season’s worth of injury without any kind of longterm stability or guarantee. Obviously, Hatcher would be well-compensated for the 2014 season if the Cowboys did tag him, but he may not be too happy about the lack of a more secure deal. Is it worth having him around if he’s angry at the organization?