Mick Shots: Glad To Be Back To The Confusing World Of The NFL

*         FRISCO, Texas – *Maybe it’s the thin, mountain air been living in for the past week in Colorado.

         Maybe it’s just the exercise on the slopes clearing my mind.

         Maybe it’s just being plain, ol’ cantankerous.

         But over these past seven days since taking some Shots at the end of February, there are just some things can’t seem to get my head around. So, what the heck, since it’s time for another round of Shots, might as well get a few things off my chest.

  • That the NFL has continued this saga with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones over owner-misconduct baffles me, with the two sides now reportedly resolving their issues in a Monday meeting. Since raised during the era of serious civil protest in the ’60s and ’70s, since when do we lose our right to appeal something we think is not correct? Isn’t that allowed in the NFL bylaws, just as the NFLPA appealed the six-game suspension of Ezekiel Elliott for something he was not charged or convicted of because the DA in Columbus, Ohio, didn’t think the accuser was creditable? As decided, too, by the NFL’s lead investigator when she interviewed Tiffany Thompson over her claims of physical abuse? And, even as an organization like the NFL, when does an owner lose the right to dissent on a decision being made by fellow owners on the commissioner’s contract? This country was born by a bunch of British dissenters, right? Maybe Revolutionary War history no longer is taught. Sorry, but still don’t get it. Maybe I’m the one who needs some help.
  • The Cowboys are operating on a slippery slope with Dez Bryant, and maybe why Jerry Jones speaks encouraging words over this contract debate and then COO Stephen Jones takes a hardline on Dez’ $12.5 million base salary in 2018 after an average – for him – 2017 season. There seems to be two schools of thought here: That Dez take a pay cut or the Cowboys outright release him, which would cost them $8 million in dead money if before June 1 and would push that indigestible number for the season to nearly $22 million. Know there is NFLPA pressure on a player to refuse pay cuts. Same from his high-powered representatives that figured out how to earn him that five-year, $70 million contract. Many times we hear how players who think they are underpaid should just shut up and play, since they signed the contract in the first place. Anyone protesting Dak Prescott playing for just a $630,000 base this season? Signed the contract, right? My gosh his $725,848 cap hit currently ranks 30th on the team, less than the hit for Jourdan Lewis and Charles Tapper, who didn’t even play last season. As I like to say, be careful what you hope for.
  • About a month ago, gave you the definition of “Dak Friendly.” Nothing has changed. First, don’t let the guy get sacked 32 times in a season, much less eight times in one game, six by the same player who only had 3.5 sacks in his other 15 games. Second, don’t drop so many passes, especially having like four of them fall into opponent hands. Third, don’t lose Zeke for six games, the Cowboys rushing touchdown total dropping from 24 in 2016 to 18 in 2017, with only seven of those at least from 10 yards out, and at that, four of those coming compliments of Dak. There. Now keep hearing how the Cowboys need to get Dak outside the pocket more. Well, if you watched, they tried, but teams were on to him rolling out, especially without the threat of Zeke possibly running the ball on those plays. Wasn’t very friendly.
  • Saw this coming from a mile away: The Cowboys released defensive end Benson Mayowa on Wednesday. With the money they are paying DeMarcus Lawrence ($17.143 million franchise tag at the moment), apparently betting on Taco Charlton after the rookie came on strong at the end of the season and pleased with Tyrone Crawford’s work out there, there was little room at the inn for a guy who played just 383 snaps out of a possible 1,048 and recorded only 22 tackles and one sack. Might as well save the $2.75 million base when you are being forced to pinch pennies under the game. Add another $1.1 million into the dead money pool, bringing that figure now to $15 million. Sure wasn’t the pass rusher the Cowboys were betting the three-year, $8.5 million restricted free-agent deal on when desperately fishing for pass rushers in 2015. Painful to take out the eraser – again – on a free-agent signing.
  • So many want to know why the Cowboys would not give up a fifth-round pick, and say wide receiver Noah Brown, for defensive tackle Michael Bennett and a seventh-round pick, as apparently Philadelphia will on March 14 when trading season opens. That’s a 32-year-old DT only on the books for a $1.65 million base, but Seattle apparently is refusing to pay what was going to be $5 million guaranteed in roster bonus/likely-to-be-earned per game bonus. In the end, the Seahawks save $5.2 million. So why would Seattle deal a guy who had 8.5 sacks last season for basically peanuts? Obviously wanted to be done with him. Sort of runs in the Bennett family. The Patriots, on the same day, released brother Martellus, figuring he was not worth the $6.2 million they could save against the cap.
  • As for Richard Sherman? Would imagine no team will trade for him since he has only one year left on his contract, calling for an $11 million base. Renegotiation before any trade would be necessary. And if Seattle wants to cut the cornerback, only costs them $2.2 million in dead money. As for their safeties, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, who knows.

OK, that’s enough Shots for one day. More sure to come when free agency/trade season officially opens next Wednesday. Gotta love the non-game season.

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