MBIII, T-New Join 'Traveling Circus'

LAS COLINAS, Texas -- Last Thursday, Terence Newman was playing a round of golf at the ritzy TPC Las Colinas Golf Course when rain forced his foursome off the course and into the back yard of a member of our 75-Member Staff.

Conversation turned to the fact that T-New's would be entering the final year of his contract situation.

"I know Jerry will pay me,'' said an unworried Newman with a smile. "But with this ‘T.O./Romo/Pacman Traveling Circus' we've got going, I'm just wondering who's going to pay Jerry so he can pay everybody.''

No worries, Terence. Jones would cough up the dough for Barnum and Bailey if they could add to that "wow'' factor that so many Cowboys now possess. And that list includes Newman, who on Tuesday agreed to a six-year extension worth $50 million that features $22 mil guaranteed.

The deal – which pre-empts what was to be Newman's final contract year of $1.4 million in base salary – gets in under the wire of a new salary-cap rule that will prevent teams from prorating contract money beyond five seasons. Newman's deal had to be completed by 3 p.m. to beat that deadline.

Logically, the Cowboys might be attempting to take care of other members of the "Traveling Circus'' -- running back Marion Barber, for instance – before that same deadline. (UPDATE: Barber indeed made it under the deadline, agreeing to a seven-year deal worth a reported $45 million, with $16 million guaranteed.)

Dallas has suddenly gone from thin and questionable at the position of cornerback to deep and talented, assuming a few dominoes fall the Cowboys' way. That would include Anthony Henry staying healthy, that would include Pacman Jones getting NFL clearance to play, that would include South Florida rookie Michael Jenkins justifying his status as this year's 25th overall pick, and that would include the continued budding stardom of Newman, who was selected for his first Pro Bowl after last season.

Newman, a five-year pro who was drafted fifth overall in 2003, hasn't yet exploded into the public consciousness as a player, maybe due to the fact that he doesn't pile up interception numbers. But as he approaches his 30th birthday, the Cowboys obviously see him as an elite player. Maybe even one who deserves some billing on the marquee of that "T.O./Romo/Pacman Traveling Circus.''

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