BILLINGS , MT
With all the talk about the defense and the guys coming and going, there has been no mention of cutting Phil Costa. Phil was a good center and a viable guard. Why cut him for his cap number and what is the plan for his replacement?
David: It seems funny to lament the loss of a guy who appeared in just three games last year, but I think it's a valid point. Costa offered depth and starting experience at a spot with few other options – there are literally no other centers or guards on this roster right now, other than the starting trio of Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick and Mackenzy Bernadeau. I think the Cowboys decided to let Costa walk so they wouldn't be rushed into a decision on DeMarcus Ware simply to get under the cap. If they had known then how quickly the Ware situation would be resolved, I wonder if they'd have made the same choice. To answer the second question, I fully expect to see the team draft an offensive lineman.
Rowan: Costa would have been the only backup interior lineman on the roster heading into 2014, and you're right that his presence provided comfort should Travis Frederick have stumbled at all entering his rookie year. The Cowboys didn't want to restructure or cut anyone else in a rush to get under the cap before free agency started, as David mentioned, but it's a notable loss from a depth standpoint. I expect it to be addressed in the draft.
So I was curious, I believe there were a lot of people surprised that [embedded_ad] DeMarcus Ware was released although we were under the cap. Why not trade him for picks to see what you could get? I feel like we should have let him go but not when you had several suitors that you could use for leverage. Or am I missing something?
David: A lot of people have expressed similar sentiments. I think the answer is that the market for an aging defensive end with injury issues probably isn't as strong as many of you seem to think. Ware is an All-Pro, but he's an All-Pro with two seasons' worth of injury concerns. And yes, I'm aware Denver paid him more money than he would have made with the Cowboys. But would they have paid him that money in addition to surrendering a draft pick or two? Probably not. Especially since the Broncos knew the Cowboys were considering releasing him anyway, in order to have the cap room to sign other free agents.
Rowan: He had a backloaded contract in Dallas that would have paid him $12 million in base salary with a $16 million cap hit in 2014 alone. Another team would rather give Ware its own deal in free agency without losing another piece, be it a pick or a player, than trade for that contract.