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Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Nothing to show for 2008 shopping spree

By Tim MacMahon

Four years later, the Cowboys have nothing to show for all the cash they threw around during 2008.

Jerry Jones went on a re-signing spree that offseason, making major commitments to receiver Terrell Owens, running back Marion Barber, left tackle Flozell Adams, safety Ken Hamlin and cornerback Terence Newman. He gave receiver Roy Williams a rich extension after trading for him later that season.

The Cowboys cut ties with the last of those guys Tuesday, releasing Newman in a move that was about as surprising as opponents picking on him while the Cowboys lost four of their last five games.

Half of the Cowboys who cashed huge signing bonus checks from the Cowboys in ’08 weren’t even in the league last season. Barber and Williams were role players for the Bears, and Newman struggled as the Cowboys’ starting left cornerback.

T.O. was the first of the group to go from Valley Ranch. He got the pink slip – er, white tablecloth – after one controversy-packed, chemistry-killing season of his four-year, $34 million extension that included a $12.9 million signing bonus.

The Cowboys cut Adams and Hamlin two seasons into their six-year deals. Adams got $15 million guaranteed on a $43 million contract. Hamlin got a $9 million signing bonus on a $39 million contract. The Cowboys got an oft-penalized tackle and a non-playmaking safety.

Barber and Williams played three nonproductive seasons for the Cowboys after getting their rich contracts. Barber’s seven-year, $45 million deal included $16 million guaranteed. About half of Williams’ six-year, $54 million deal, which he signed before playing a down for the Cowboys, was guaranteed.

Newman played four seasons of his six-year, $50.2 million deal, which included $22.5 million guaranteed. He struggled much of the last two seasons, but Newman was still the best buy of the Cowboys’ ’08 shopping spree.