Youth Is Served With Move To Spencer

both he and his dad insisting the Cowboys have no cap issues forcing this move, not concerning their ability to sign the 11 draft choices nor the ability to sign Ware to his expected contract extension.

So to me, when they simply say it's time to move on, that means to me the continued youth movement I first told you about the first of April that became quite apparent. Shedding themselves of Ellis, either through trade or outright release, is just another move in that direction.

The Cowboys are replacing a going-on 34 Ellis (Aug. 14) with the 25-year-old Spencer. They plan to use not quite 22-year-old Victor Butler (July 29) and not quite 21-year-old Brandon Williams (June 21) as backups. So if this move is not for cap purposes or based totally on production, why on earth would you do so if you aren't following this apparent new philosophy?

I mean, you are replacing a proven veteran with a guy who looks the part, but hasn't really given you a lengthy body of evidence, and now, the immediate backups behind Spencer and Ware are two guys not yet 22 who have yet to play a down of football in the NFL, along with the likes of possibly Justin Rogers or Steve Octavien.

That's taking a crazy chance or solid commitment to a philosophy.

This means when Ellis is finally released or traded the Cowboys will have parted company this off-season with six players going on 31-years of age or more - one actually going on 41 - and a seventh going on 29: Brad Johnson (41), Terrell Owens (36), Zach Thomas (36), Ellis (34), Anthony Henry (33), Keith Davis (31), and Roy Williams (29).

All meaning they will get younger at wide receiver, cornerback, safety, linebacker and, most importantly, on special teams in doing so. All meaning, if it works, making their roster more cap friendly while trying dearly to develop their own feeder system instead of spending millions to sign free agents or re-sign your own free-agents-to-be.

Everyone is in to cost-cutting measures these days.

Plus, if you inspect the final fall of the Schramm-Landry-Brandt era back in the late '80's and the Cowboys in the late '90's, you will find holding onto aging veterans far past their productive years one of the main reasons. Randy White ended up playing 14 seasons. Ed "Too Tall" Jones 15 years. Tom Rafferty 14 years. Danny White 13 years. Tony Dorsett 11 years. Doug Cosbie 10 years. Jim Cooper 10 years.

Just have to be careful, because the natural tendency is to stick with guys you trust past their primes - guys you have been successful with - rather than going with the younger guys who just might need a chance.

So here come the chances, chances for Spencer and Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick and Gerald Sensabaugh and Miles Austin and Sam Hurd and Brandon Williams and Victor Butler and Bobby Carpenter and Jason Williams and Michael Hamlin and Stephen Hodge and DeAngelo Smith and Mike Mickens and Marcus Dixon and Alan Ball and Travis Wilson to name a few.

It's become their time.

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