Playing It Forward


big on insurance. This wide receiver policy would have cost $2 million. The one for Hurd will cost - or would have cost, depending on Saturday's moves - $1.8 million. Ogletree and potentially Holley would total $715,000. 

Yep, there is no salary cap this year, but that doesn't mean the Cowboys, along with a whole bunch of other NFL teams, don't have a personal budget. After all, if the owners spend extravagantly this uncapped season, then the NFLPA will contend these guys can afford much more than they are claiming they can for player salaries once both sides reach the bargaining table on a new CBA. 

So was this a financial decision? 

"More youth than money," Jones said. "You don't make all these decision for today but also for the future, and at some point you got to give young guys a shot." 

In other words, playing it forward. 

Here also is what the Cowboys are thinking, injury considerations aside. If Austin, Williams and Bryant are your top three receivers and if you are going to take four or five receivers to the game on your 45, then the fourth and/or fifth must play special teams. Hurd does. Holley does. Ogletree can. 

Crayton just returns punts, and well I might add, finishing third in the NFC last season with a 12.1 average. But the Cowboys think they have guys who can handle that job. First Bryant, and no matter he hasn't laid a hand on a punt in eons, they are convinced he can catch the very first one the night of Sept. 12 at FedEx. And if squeamish with that decision, then at least they've seen fourth-round draft choice Akwasi Owusu-Ansah do so in preseason. And if the glare suddenly becomes too bright for those rookies, remember Terence Newman isn't bad at this. 

So if you are following along, Crayton likely wouldn't be dressing on Sunday's, but still making $117,600 a week. No big deal unless it's your money or your employee. 

That then brings us right back to where we began. Your personnel projections have to be right on, and so far, of late, the Cowboys personnel decisions have hit the mark. Spencer. Austin. Jenkins. And so far this year, they seem to have made the right decisions on moving Free, Ball and Buehler into starting roles. 

We haven't seen near enough of Dez to absolutely say the Cowboys are right, though if you were betting, and with your own money, you'd double-down right now on yes they are. As for Ogletree, at this point it's even money, and they are but one play away from finding out. 

Like I said, mighty gutsy.             

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