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Roster Decisions Not Likely To Be Rushed

IRVING, Texas --Now that the Super Bowl's over, NFL teams can begin releasing players from their rosters. The Cowboys might have some decisions to make on a veteran who remains under contract – they waived several starters last summer after the lockout ended – but they aren't likely to be in a rush this year with free agency still a full five weeks away.

It just hasn't been common to make roster moves this early in the offseason. The club did waive Troy Aikman in February 2000, well before the start of free agency that year, but they did it to avoid paying Aikman a $7 million roster bonus and extending his contract through 2007. Aikman retired the following month.

This year, cornerback Terence Newman is the biggest name with a murky future. Newman, 33, has three years remaining on the $50.2 million extension he signed in 2008, and many have speculated that 2011 was Newman's final season with the Cowboys after he struggled down the stretch, particularly in the finale against the Giants.

The Cowboys can save at least a couple million in cap space by letting Newman go, but again, there's no real hurry to decide. The club can choose to wait and see how free agency and the draft unfold, and who knows what other opportunities might arise throughout the offseason. In 2009, they traded 32-year-old cornerback Anthony Henry for backup quarterback Jon Kitna – which happens to be a need again this year – and Kitna wound up playing three more seasons behind Tony Romo.

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