The Cowboys have recently been in the habit of signing players in their 30’s to pretty big contract extensions. I think that everyone could agree that the Jay Ratliff re- signing was not a good idea. His attitude hopped on the same train as his production. There is very little doubt in my mind that he will be released after this season and rightfully so.
I believe that Dallas was smart in not re-signing Anthony Spencer to a long-term deal. I also believe that they might have learned from some of those bad contracts. In saying that, they need to bite the bullet and eat the dead money that comes with cutting these over-paid veterans. If you want to change the culture then you have to change the core of the team.
They have to let some of the old core players go and replace it with a new, younger and better core. You see this happening with guys like Sean Lee, Bruce Carter, Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith taking on the roles of the new core players on this team. They are young and good at what they do.
So Ratliff and Spencer are almost for sure former Cowboys after this season. But if I had any say at all, I would also get rid of Jason Witten. Trust me he has been one of my favorite players of the last decade, but enough is enough. It’s time to get rid of Tony Romo’s “security blanket”. Don’t get me wrong, he does everything the right way and is consummate team guy. It is just that he does not make many game changing plays, and in all honesty I think he holds this offense back.
They might be able to get a mid-round pick for his services, who knows? What I do know is that his cap numbers are enormous for the next four years, and those numbers do not match his production. For the last several years he has been relegated to catching 5-10 yard dump off passes and I cannot stand to watch them anymore. He also seems to have a few too many penalties for my liking. Besides Doug Free I don’t think I cursed anybody’s name more last year then Witten’s.
It is time to make this Dez Bryant’s Offense, and I don’t mean the dink and dunk version. They need to let it fly and cut these short-outs from the play book. I am tired of them trying to be the Patriots. The Cowboys are at their best in a 3 wide receiver set anyhow. So next season they need to move on from Witten and throw Escobar and Hanna to the wolves.
The Cowboys need to stop being scared to go young, and they need to stop being so loyal. They need to break their habit of restructuring certain players. It just hurts the cap more in the long run. I think that they have improved somewhat in this area. They just have to continue on that path. In order to fit down that path they have to cut the dead weight and it starts with Witten.