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February 09, 2009

Pacman gone today, who else might be leaving?


The Cowboys will officially release cornerback Adam Pacman Jones today, the first day teams can release players for the 2009 season.

The Cowboys had already announced their intenions to part ways with Jones after just one turbulent season. The Cowboys will save $1 million against cap by getting rid of Jones.

But Jones might not be the only player the Cowboys release on Monday.

Quarterback Brad Johnson surely will not be back next season after his poor play as the backup quarterback and then getting moved to third string behind Brooks Bollinger. That move could be made official today as well. The Cowboys will save another $2 million by releasing Johnson.

Here are three other names that will likely be considered:

* SS Roy Williams, who admitted last night on NBC 5's Out of Bounds with Newy Scruggs that he does not feel comfortable in the 3-4 defense and that he "got used" by opposing teams since the Cowboys made switch from the 4-3 a few years ago. Williams stated he wants to remain in Dallas and would consider a pay cut and even moving to linebacker. He is too small to play linebacker in 3-4 and if he doesn't feel comfortable playing safety in the defense then what good would restructuring the contract do? By releasing Williams, the Cowboys would save $2.4 million against the salary cap. Maybe more importantly in these economic times, the Cowboys would avoid paying more than $9 million owed to Williams over the next two years.

*LB Greg Ellis, who has predicted this day would come the last three years. Now that his snaps were significantly reduced this past season, he is even more sure that the time is now because of his $6.25 million cap number for next year and $4.15 base salary. Ellis was a starter in name only at the end of the season because Wade Phillips didn't want to cause in more trouble. Anthony Spencer played primarily on first and second down with Ellis serving as a nickel pass rusher. There is nothing wrong with paying a premium for such an important niche role. Ellis just has it in his head that the Cowboys are not going to pay him that much money to do it. The Cowboys could actually save $5.6 million by cutting Ellis.

The problem with cutting Ellis is the Cowboys would have to rely even more on Spencer, who has proven to be injury prone, immature and has yet to blossom into the catalytic pass rusher the Cowboys hoped he would be when they took him in the first round of the 2007 draft. Spencer was fined in training camp for missing a treatment session. He was arrested in January for public intoxication and disorderly conduct, putting him in thecross hairs of NFL's personal conduct policy.

So the Cowboys probably need Ellis to come back for one more year until they can trust Spencer. The question is whether Ellis will continue to complain about his reduced role and how that plays in what is  already a dysfunctional lockerroom.

*CB Anthony Henry, who is in the final year of his contract. He has a $5.6 million cap number for next year which includes a $1 million roster bonus. The Cowboys would actually save $3.6 million against the cap by releasing Henry. It certainly has be a financial consideration for the Cowboys. The problem is that with Pacman Jones gone, the Cowboys don't have a proven option at cornerback opposite Terence Newman. Rookie first round pick Mike Jenkins didn't show enough last year to warrant the move. But then there's the matter of moving Henry to safety. He played safety on passing downs last year and will likely be a fulltime free safety before his career is up. Depending on what the Cowboys do with Williams, the Cowboys could move Ken Hamlin to strong safety and Henry to free safety. 

Again considering these moves and doing them are two different things. Jones will be gone today. And Johnson will surely go at some point if not today. The others, including the looming and well chronicled decision on wide receiver Terrell Owens,  are wait and see.

Stay Tuned. 

Clarence E. Hill Jr.

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Comments

What about getting rid of a player that cost us over 500 offensive yards in false start penalties in 2008--Flozell Adams? I believe he is washed up. I know that quick-footed, 360 lb left tackles who protect a right-handed quarterback's blind-spot are rare, but, we've got to bite the bullet and make the 100% attempt to find the next great, huge Cowboys left tackle in anyway we can--free agency, college draft, trade, etc..

We also need to release Clayton and T.O. and draft a high-round, top-flight wide-out in the Fitzgerald mold--you know, about 6'4", soft hands and a great team attitude!

Can we also draft or sign a premium, intelligent, fast, strong, and large middle linebacker? We need to also draft another DB or two....the same kind of players we've needed for 12 years but always fail to draft since Jerry-you-know-who has been running the Cowboy's ship.

You know, Jerry-the-football-dummy bragged on some radio show a few days ago that he also controlled 100% the Cowboy's draft and player signings since he bought the team back in 1989. In other words, he always decided who the Cowboy's draft and sign since day one.

I don't think so Jerry. You live in a dream world. I guarantee you that Jimmy J. decided 100% of Cowboy player personnel moves from 1989 thru 1994. In early 1994 Jerry couldn't stand not getting all the credit for putting together SB worthy groups of players anymore and decided he learned enough from Jimmy in 5 short years to do it himself and sent Jimmy packing out the door. Bad move.

When will a real football guru once again be deciding who the Cowboys draft, what free agents to sign, how to discipline players, and how to lead those players? Never, as long as Jerry owns the team...sad.

Clarence, Jerry should pull the trigger on all the players that you just named. No need to prolong the situation. Cut them lose and take your chances with the younger guys.

Clarence,

you should work for Dallas Cowgirls, making a grandiose jump seems to be no problem. Pacman is GONE, really funny ESPN nor any other site is reporting his release. You simply saying this is 1st day he COULD be released not that he is, Jerry loves guys who can jump from NO PLAYOFFS to Super Bowl ina blink

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