- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Cowboys have shifted money around to save roughly $23 million off the salary cap. A new contract is coming for quarterback Tony Romo, with a potential average salary of $16-18 million per season.
At this point, I believe only one key player from last season will not return -- Anthony Spencer -- and that's not because of performance. It's because of money. As of today, the Cowboys don't have enough to place a franchise tag on him for $10.8 million.
Veteran Dan Connor has been asked to take a pay cut or be released. Nothing has been finalized.
When Jerry Jones talked about wanting people to be uncomfortable at Valley Ranch, it sure doesn't sound like he was addressing the players when, in fact, they should be the ones who are uncomfortable.
It was a bad sign when Jones related his tiff with nose tackle Jay Ratliff to a father-son issue. It was worse when coach Jason Garrett, when asked if Ratliff would return in 2013 after his DWI charge, responded by saying "absolutely."
Garrett has talked about wide receiver Miles Austin needing to get healthier so he can finish a season. There was talk about possibly finding another safety, despite the solid play of Gerald Sensabaugh and the return of Barry Church from a torn Achilles.
But that's it.
If you feel the players around Valley Ranch should feel nervous or uncomfortable, forget about it. They don't.
That needs to change.
Yes, coaching changes were needed after another 8-8 season, but don't stop there. We're not saying to cut players just for the sake of cutting them.
Ratliff should be gone, but he won't.
Maybe Sensabaugh should find a new place to work.
Don't ask Connor to take a pay cut. Just cut him.
Let Doug Free go after June 1 -- it'd save $7 million.
You saw what the Atlanta Falcons did: Three veterans -- all recently obtained via free agency -- were cut in a salary cap move.
If Jones wants people to be uncomfortable at Valley Ranch, then apply it to the players, as well.
So far, that hasn't been the case this offseason.