Dallas Cowboys: Charles Johnson

Names to keep an eye on for Cowboys

April, 25, 2013
IRVING, Texas – Over the last few years, the Cowboys’ top-30 visitors before the draft have been a good indicator into who they end up selecting.

Nate Newton went undrafted in 1983, but he still feels like he was part of one of the greatest draft classes in league history. Newton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss his draft experience from 30 years ago and his journey to three rings.

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Guys like Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyrone Crawford and Matt Johnson, among others, visited Valley Ranch and ended up getting picked by the team.

Here is the list of this year’s invites to keep handy for the next three days:

S Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
S Jonathan Cyprien, Florida International
S Eric Reid, LSU
G Chance Warmack, Alabama
RB Le’Veon Bell, Michigan State
RB Joseph Randle, Oklahoma State
DL Sheldon Richardson, Missouri
RB Knile Davis, Arkansas
G Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
OL Justin Pugh, Syracuse
DT Kawann Short, Purdue
DT Jordan Hill, Penn State
C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
S Phillip Thomas, Fresno State
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
LB Sio Moore, Connecticut
LB Gerald Hodges, Penn State
CB B.W Webb, William & Mary
WR Charles Johnson, Grand Valley State
RB Giovani Bernard, North Carolina
OL Kyle Long, Oregon
S J.J. Wilcox, Georgia Southern
LB Brandon Magee, Arizona State
TE D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers
TE Dion Sims, Michigan State
WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon State
S Jakar Hamilton, South Carolina State
DT Bennie Logan, LSU

The case for franchising a player twice

March, 5, 2013
The Dallas Cowboys are still hopeful of a long-term contract with Anthony Spencer, who was franchised for $10.5 million on Monday. It's the second consecutive year Spencer has been franchised.

Randy Galloway and Matt Mosley discuss the Cowboys putting the franchise tag on Anthony Spencer and releasing Gerald Sensabaugh.

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There are mixed results from players who were franchised in consecutive years.

Baltimore franchised linebacker Terrell Suggs in 2008 and 2009. Before the 2009 season, Suggs signed a six-year $62.5 million deal with $38 million guaranteed. Suggs was 26 years old when he signed the highest contract for a linebacker in league history at the time. The Ravens were able to keep Suggs long term and he's proven to be one of the top players in the NFL.

In 2009, Karlos Dansby, then with Arizona, was also franchised for a second consecutive year. Arizona replaced Dansby in the draft and he signed a five-year $42.5 million deal with $22 million guaranteed with the Miami Dolphins. Dansby was 29 when he signed the deal with the Dolphins and it was one of the highest deals signed for a inside linebacker.

Spencer is a solid player. Maybe better than Dansby. But is Spencer elite? Should he be paid among the highest paid at his position?

Currently, Spencer is the second-highest paid linebacker in the NFL in terms of average salary for 2013 behind DeMarcus Ware ($11.1 million). Both Spencer and Ware move to defensive end this season, putting them lower on a list of players that includes Mario Williams ($16 million average), Julius Peppers ($14 million average) and Charles Johnson ($12.6 million).

When a player is franchised in consecutive years it gives the NFL team all the control, but at the same time it shows the worth that player has to the franchise, especially if a long-term deal is worked out.

If Spencer doesn't get a long-term deal with the Cowboys, he'll be 30 when he hits the free agent market and a big money contract might not be available to him if he has an average season.

The Cowboys have all the leverage here with Spencer, but should he perform at a high level again in 2013, he might be able to grab it.