The Dallas Cowboys have a big offseason ahead of them and, while Dez Bryant and DeMarco Murray are dominating the headlines, the severity of an injury to one of their roster has now thrown the team's cornerback position into question.
With Morris Claiborne definitely out until after the Cowboys' offseason program, Dallas owner Jerry Jones has admitted the team is now in a "problematic situation" as they try to solve fellow cornerback Brandon Carr's contract conundrum.
With Carr set count $12.7 million to the Cowboys salary cap in 2015 - and having failed to live up to that price tag in recent years - the franchise front office are eager to re-negotiate his deal to reduce his immediate salary. Unfortunately for Dallas, with Claiborne unable to return to add competition at his position, Carr now holds most of the cards.
"Mo has created a problematic situation for us..His circumstances are problematic for us as we approach what we're doing in the offseason at that position," - Jerry Jones to DallasCowboys.com.
Less room to manoeuvre
Claiborne's absence from the gridiron puts Carr in a very commanding position when it comes to negotiations with Cowboys. With fewer options and alternatives, the Cowboys suddenly have a little less to bring to the negotiation table when trying to convince Carr to spread out his money.
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“All of that (Claiborne's injury) will be considered, and to the extent it’s there, will impact, does impact, if not us, him (Carr) and how he looks at it (his contract),” Jones on CB situation.
With the Cowboys desperate to shave off as much cash from the salary cap as possible in the coming weeks ahead of free agency they might be forgiven for cursing their luck regarding Claiborne's extensive time out.
As for Brandon Carr, he might want to thank his fellow corner if he manages to start the 2015 campaign with close to his $12.7 million intact.
If the franchise fails to convince Carr to re-negotiate the terms of his contract there is even concern that it could affect Dallas' ability to retain big names stars heading for free agency aka DeMarco Murray.