The Dallas Cowboys have only about $9 million of cap room (having gotten there on Tuesday with this Sean Lee re-do) and admit that there are roster holes to full at receiver and safety and pass-rusher/
Yet their first meeting in free agency today?
A quarterback, a position at which they are associated with lots and lots of bodies.
Josh McCown, the 37-year-old journeyman who was with Cleveland last year, is in town for a visit. McCown was on Dallas’ wish list last summer when backup QB Kellen Moore was hurt at training camp. Fatefully, the Cowboys opted to not trade for McCown, instead leaving rookie Dak Prescott in the No. 2 spot on the depth chart. And when Tony Romo also went down … Prescott made history.
Romo is also involved in this “QB Whirlwind’’ update. The interest in McCown should be taken as a sign that Dallas is about to apply the “Do-Right Rule’’ to Romo. Owner Jerry Jones’ phrase cannot just mean Romo “does right’’ by his relationship with the Joneses and avoids going to a rival like the Redskins; for it to be valid, it also must mean the Cowboys must do right by Romo and soon allow him his freedom. That can still come in the form of a trade, but McCown’s presence in DFW today speeds the clock on possibly simply granting Romo his release and taking the $5.1 million in cap savings that can help Dallas do some shopping as free agency officially opens on Thursday.
Meanwhile, reports of Romo being in Denver on Tuesday night are wrong …. or at least premature. He was part of the Dirk Nowitzki 30,000-points celebration with the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.
The smart money — because Dallas has so little of it — is still on the re-signing of Kellen Moore as a backup QB.
"With a signed Kellen Moore, then you might not need to bring in a potential future quarterback," Jerry Jones said over the weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indy. "Kellen would satisfy that itch. There is a relationship. He fits here real well."
We predict McCown will be too expensive, we predict that despite Dak’s relationship with Mark Sanchez that he gets a one-year, $2-million offer to leave Dallas, and we predict that Moore — a favorite of Cowboys coordinator Scott Linehan — can nestle in here under the favorable terms of an obscure rule.
Moore has played two years in a row as a “Minimum Salary Benefit” player, thanks to a rule designed to help middling vets stay in the league by giving teams the option of signing a veteran player with four or more years in the league to a one-year contract at the minimum base salary, and a signing bonus of no more than $80,000, and having them count the same against the salary cap as a player in their second year on a minimum deal.
In this case, Moore can make $775,000 but only count $615,000 against the cap.
We reported two weeks ago that Romo agent Tom Condon was floating the Redskins idea, which is obviously less palatable to the Cowboys than our scoop last week from two sources on the Broncos’ plan to “go hard after’’ Romo should he be cut by Dallas.
Jerry suggested on Saturday that there’s “no hurry’’ here. But now it’s Wednesday. The visit with McCown is here. The attraction to Moore is here. The plane is waiting on Romo.
In 2017, Prescott’s salary and cap hit is $635,848. With Moore impacting the cap even less than that, and Jerry’s idea of unearthing another cheap kid to be on the roster, the Cowboys can beat the cap at the QB position … while calming the whirlwind around them. We don’t see how McCown, who made $5 million last year, quite fits. But for certain … the ”hurry’’ is here.
That also goes, by the way, for top Cowboys free agents like Ronald Leary, Terrell McClain, Terrance Williams and Barry Church. With each of them, we have solid numbers on what we believe will unfold as they depart Dallas. (See 'em all here.) With Church, we have a pretty good feel on who likes him ...
... But with T-Will and all the rumors about the Cowboys and free-agent receivers, we're not sure we see the point ...
Or maybe we do. ...
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