12 bad Cowboys contract extensions over the last 7 years

Year Player Contract How’d that work out?
Mar-06 Terry Glenn 5 year, $20 million extension Released July 25, 2008.
Aug-06 Roy Williams (the safety) 4 year, $25.2 million extension Released March 5, 2009.
Feb-07 Andre Gurode 6 year, $30 million extension Released August 29, 2011.
Feb-08 Ken Hamlin 6 year, $38 million extension Released April 2, 2010.
May-08 Marion Barber As a RFA, signed a 7 year, $45 million deal Released July 28, 2011.
May-08 Terence Newman 6 year, $50.2 million extension Released March 13, 2012.
Jun-08 Terrell Owens 3 year, $27 million extension Released March 4, 2009.
Dec-08 Marc Colombo 4 year, $22 million extension Released July 28, 2011.
Jul-11 Doug Free 4 year, $32 million extension Still on team, could be released in June.
Aug-11 Orlando Scandrick 5 year, $27 million extension Still on team. Cowboys paid him as if they were bidding against 32 other teams when he was still under contract for one more year.
Sep-11 Jay Ratliff 5 year, $40 million extension Still on team. Had 2 seasons remaining on team-friendly deal, and had just turned 30.
Dec-11 Gerald Senabaugh 5 year, $22.5 million extension Released today.

Follow Blogging the bEast on Twitter.


  1. TJ says:

    Which one of the above contacts would the player have not matched on the open market. For example, Eagles offered Free a very similar contract if I’m not mistaken.

  2. Apex says:

    These are definitely bad deals. But I wonder if all these Eagles and Redskins fans that always cry about why people outside of Dallas are fans of the Cowboys have ever stopped to consider that part of it might be the team’s loyalty to their players. That’s something that inspires fans, when they feel like the team took care of a player that they like, or a player they like remains on the team. That is definitely not something that the Eagles have. Yes, it’s better to not reward people for past service in the football world, but there’s something to be said for it in the real world. And let’s be honest, what do the Eagles and Redskins have to show for it that the Cowboys don’t?

    1. Iggles says:

      I love the “loyalty” comments. You act as if everyone that dons an Eagles / Redskins / Giants uniform only plays there for one contract. The Eagles in particular have been great over the years at locking up their young talent to lucrative long-term contracts that are also team-friendly. They were just more realistic and didn’t hand out big money or long-term contracts to guys in the tail end of their careers.

      And people outside of Dallas are Dallas fans because of they won a lot in the 90’s. Give me a break with the loyalty crap. Nobody has EVER said they were a Dallas fan because of their loyalty to their players.

      1. Apex says:

        I’m pretty sure I basically said that? Many people that are not die-hard fans love the Cowboys because they have had continuity with their players over the years and when a guy has done well for them, they give them the opportunity to keep doing well. The casual fan remembers moments and highlights, and the Cowboys give them those. It’s an odd argument to say people like the Cowboys because they were great 20 years ago but have been average since. If that were the case, wouldn’t all those people be Patriots fans now instead? Or Giants fans? But the Cowboys remain the biggest draw in the NFL, despite only making the playoffs once in the past 6 years.

        And again, you can say bad salary cap, more realistic, etc., but what do the Eagles or Redskins have to show for it that the Cowboys don’t? When was the last time the Cowboys went 4-12? Wins in the past 3 years: Redskins 21, Eagles 22, Cowboys 22. Playoff wins in the past 3 years: Cowboys 0, Eagles 0, Redskins 0.

    2. Redskins Fan says:

      You obviously t think the Cowboys are great and every other team sucks. Which is somewhat lacking in critical analysis. You don’t have a TE who has played his entire career for your team and yet still says he would never consider playing for anyone else because he’s just a Cowboy (the Redskins have Cooley). You don’t have a guy who personally tries to recruit other guys, especially from”The U” to play and has passed up chances to go to other teams to stay with the Cowboys (Santana Moss for the Redskins). I’m not saying you don’t have “True Cowboys” I’m just saying that you don’t know whatyou’re talking about when you think your team is special. Those were just two off the top of my head as a Redskins fan for my team. I’m sure the Eagles fans could give you a couple for theres, although there are some counter arguments there, and I’m sure there are a few for the Giants too.

      1. Apex says:

        The Redskins really showed how much they appreciated Cooley in turn, when they cut his ass.

        1. horatius says:

          After 9 fricking years? Should I point to how you cut Marion Barber’s ass, and Leonard Davis, and Andre Gurode?

    3. Joe D says:

      loyalty is the biggest bs ive ever heard. It’s a business for all 32 teams and they’re all mercenaries. Even though every fan wants to think their players bleed their teams colors — theyd ont

      1. Apex says:

        Spoken like a true Eagles fan.

  3. TylerD says:

    All I have to say is Thank God for Jerry Jones, I hope he never get’s a real GM in place.

  4. If they would just bite the bullet instead of being constantly hamstrung by constant dead money hits year after year….Of course that would require someone who actually wanted to acknowledge there is a problem, and that isn’t Jerry. It probably isn’t Steven either.

  5. Imp says:

    I’m not going to complain too much about Cowboys giving Free a big contract extension. He looked really good in ’10 on an offensive line that was really bad and old. Right approach, just unexpected that Free started to suck.

    Other than him and maybe Gurode, rest of those contracts look really bad.

    1. Totally agree on Free. And if they had lost him, that OL would have been barren. NOBODY foresaw him being this bad.

      1. aoa says:

        Didn’t you put him on your offseason wish list for the Eagles that year and chastise the Bucs for not throwing money at him?

      2. HELLO??!! says:


  6. Fool says:

    Orlando Scandrick: “Still on team. Cowboys paid him as if they were bidding against 32 other teams when he was still under contract for one more year.”


    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      The blood is boiling in here, ha.. Haven’t had one of these in a while.

    2. But anyway, here’s a little more analysis on the Orlando Scandrick deal if you’re not a Cliff’s Notes kind of guy:


      1. LMAO! says:

        I.e., this post is utterly indefensible and untenable, so therefore I’ll link to an even more inane article to prove my point. LMAO!!!!

    3. You don’t give FA level deals to guys you have under contract. Is that easier to understand?

    4. nygslater says:

      haha…this almost had me in tears laughing….I’m not sure why i found it THAT funny, but nonethless, think im gunna need a tissue or something….thanks for the laugh.

  7. icdogg says:

    The Cowboys are in cap hell.

    Go here: http://www.overthecap.com/teamcap.php?Team=Cowboys&Year=2013

    click on the header of the last column to sort by Cap Savings (if cut). There are 13 guys that cost a million dollars or more against the cap to cut than to keep.

    And only 6 guys at the bottom of the list that save a million dollars or more against the cap by cutting.

    Look at the other teams in the division and do the same thing. You’ll see that the Redskins are not in the same predicament… they at least have some flexibility to work with. Same with the Giants.

    The Eagles, of course, have plenty of space already and room to make plenty more.

    If the Cowboys can make a deal with Spencer (as opposed him signing the franchise tag offer), which may or may not be a smart extension to make, they might free up some cap space for this year, but they really don’t have a lot of great options otherwise.

  8. Jeff says:

    It’s really curious that so many Dallas fans are defensive of the Cowboys’ front office. Dallas hasn’t had a good team since 2009. They have had two good teams (’07, ’09) in the six years after Parcells left. The two biggest cogs in the front office, Jerruh and Stephen, were largely responsible for the subpar talent acquisition/resource management from the mid-’90s to the early ’00s.

    Why would anyone want to defend that?

    1. nygslater says:

      Well, IMO Dallas has been ‘competitive’ and the romo injury was essentially a lost year. The whole NFC East has been down/inconsistent for awhile. I thought the giants would be overloads for a couple of years after ’08, but alas, inconsistency throughout.

      Although i agree that Dallas needs a real GM. and yes I know that would be impossible as long as JJ’s around.

  9. TJ says:

    Most of these are done to free up money in the short term. Not saying it’s a good strategy, but that’s how Dallas manipulates the cap. Hatcher, Lissemore, Church (maybe), Costa (maybe), 1st Ratliff deal, Romo, And Ware extensions all look solid. Cowboys value their own players, unlike the gang of Mercs up in Philly. Lol

    1. Rex says:

      I think you mean overvalue

  10. Redskins Fan says:

    Jerry Jones is my favorite GM/Owner.

  11. […] In related news, Sensabaugh was released by the Cowboys today, all part of JimmyK’s 12 bad Cowboys contract extensions over the last 7 years. […]

  12. […] In related news, Sensabaugh was released by the Cowboys today, all part of JimmyK’s 12 bad Cowboys contract extensions over the last 7 years. […]

  13. poolboy87 says:

    I would debate Scandrick…I’d put Roy E Williams (6 years, $54 million for 94 catches) on this list FAR before I’d put Scandrick on it.

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      Technically, Roy E was a contract extension, but it was done at the time they traded for him, so I cut the Cowboys a little slack on that one, even though you’re right that it was a awful deal.

  14. Tim says:

    Jimmy, this seems like Dallas cherry-picking. Overall I think you’re pretty objective on this blog considering you’re an Eagles fan, but this post at best isn’t valuable (because it doesn’t tell the full story of what money in these contracts was guaranteed). At worst, it’s consciously dishonest in the incomplete picture it paints.of Dallas’ management.

    Sensabaugh’s extension was structured from the beginning to be a two year commitment, and then allow Dallas relatively painless exit options every year after that at their discretion. They took the exit they built in for themselves. The penalty is not severe.

    1. Jimmy Kempski says:

      Sensi’s deal has $2.4 in dead money. That’s not as bad as some of the others on the list, but it’s definitely worthy of a mention. And this isn’t cherry-picking at all. Find me any team in the league with this many awful contract extensions.

      And I believe that the majority of these deals, if not all of them resulted in a cap penalty. There’s nothing consciously dishonest about this at all. It’s a list of contracts. All facts (with the exception of the blurb on Scandrick).

      1. Tim says:

        That’s what I mean about the post not being valuable– without knowing how much money was guaranteed, and how much dead money resulted when the players were terminated early, this data doesn’t tell us anything about whether or not these were good or bad signings. At the very least we’d need that info. Best case, in order to really make a judgment you’d probably also need a perspective on how frequently teams incur dead money on average around the league, and to what degree.

        I understand it’s not an actual journalistic report, it’s just a quick blog post, but significantly more data is needed before you can make the implied conclusion that Stephen and Jerry Jones are bad at deciding when to extend players and at writing the actual contracts. People have been writing about the Cowboys’ bad cap situation for 8+ years now, and it has not hamstrung their ability to sign players in FA in any significant way.

        1. Significantly more data is needed before you can make the implied conclusion that Stephen and Jerry Jones are bad at deciding when to extend players and at writing the actual contracts.

          No, it isn’t.

          1. Bob says:

            Yes, it is. You need a comparison, otherwise it’s pretty much worthless.

            1. ct17 says:

              I think the fact that Eagles, Redskins, and now a Giants fan are all here telling you that Jerry Jones is an idiot should be telling you something. We could go to a generic NFL site and put up a poll where 95% of voters tell you the Sensabaugh deal was ridiculous if that makes you feel any better.

              Giants are dealing with some bad Reese contracts now. But in fairness to him, most of the big deals went to players considered good around the league. A lot of his extensions went one year too long, the new free agents got a little too much money. But we won two Super Bowls, and only Canty got let go with more than a year left on his deal.

              It’s hard to figure out when a guy will be done, and you can’t always offer short term deals. That’s why I think the Colombo and Newman deals were not that bad. I thought Free was going to a be a good player. The DB contracts are the worst here.

            2. Fool says:

              Worthless is right. Just like this entire post!

            3. Name one contract above that was good.

              1. JACK ASS!! says:

                Once AGAIN!!–ignoring the question/argument that you do not feel like (nor can you) answering!

        2. Jeff says:

          The dead money from these contracts has been written about extensively. They had 20+ million in dead money from players no longer on the team last season.

          “People have been writing about the Cowboys’ bad cap situation for 8+ years now, and it has not hamstrung their ability to sign players in FA in any significant way.”

          I know this isn’t a journalistic report . . .

          But seriously, I don’t recall people writing about their bad cap situation for 8+ years (I’m a Dallas fan too). I’m not sure it hasn’t hamstrung their ability to spend in FA. Stephen even said this year that they couldn’t spend as much as last offseason. And they have only been able to spend this much by pushing up the cap figures of Witten, Ware, and Austin. It’s not unreasonable that those players could get cut in the next 2-3 years and count as dead money; in fact it’ll likely happen.

          I also suspect that these contracts hurt in a different way. If you’re feeling good about the recent contracts given to Ken Hamlin and Doug Free as starters, you’re not actively looking for their replacements. Then when they don’t play well, oops, you gotta cut them, and now you need another starter at S and OT after you’ve wasted money and time on those players.

          Building from the last paragraph, I suspect that’s what happened with Orlando Scandrick. Dallas made the gamble that Scandrick was an ascending player, a future starter, and they would lock him up with an early deal. Except that it hasn’t worked out like that. If this team felt comfortable with Scandrick/Carr as starters, then they don’t move up for Claiborne. They sit at #14 and select Brockers – who would improve the DT rotation immensely. Maybe they would even select a quality starter at #40 too.

  15. Real Talk says:

    Mamula,Asomugha,Cromartie,Jenkins,V. Young,Freddie Mitchell,T.O., (who sign these Guys)

    1. Iggles says:

      This is about contract extensions, not drafted players, free agents, and trades. Not a single player on that list is a contract extension. The point is that you should know what you have in a player when you offer an extension, as opposed to trades / FA / drafts where you’re left guessing a bit.

    2. Ranjeeth says:

      Mamula, 1997. Now lets skip all the way to 2011.
      None of those were bad contracts at the time either. All the Dallas contracts were awful at the time. You know bad decisions in the moment versus bad decisions in hindsight.

  16. Tracer Bullet says:

    Is Free done or did he just have a terrible year? He’s still reasonably young so it seems like he should have some value, if not necessarily at $8 million per year.

    1. It wasn’t just 2012. He had a really bad 2011 too. He might be done.

    2. Also, he’s 29. He sat for a few years before he got to play, so he seems younger than he really is.

      1. Fool says:

        Eagles fan a Doug Free expert here…lmfao!!

      2. DerfDiggy says:

        Its a miracle that the Eagles excellent cap management has produced such excellence throughout the years.

        And before someone posts “u mad bro?”

        No. Not at all.

        Fact is not a single team except the Giants has had any real success…if you want to count playoff and NFC East titles…fine. Hang your hat on those Eagles fans.

        Fact of the matter is the Cowboys have had some terrible drafts since Parcells left. I think/hope that’s turning around and we have some real players for cheap on rookie contracts. If not…we’ll start over and be mediocre for a few years again…or draft Johnny Football. Either way..you don’t amass a .500 record over the last 200+ games simply by handing out a few bad contracts…it doesn’t help obviously…but at this point its overstated…me thinks.

        1. Jeff says:

          I’m a Dallas fan and I’d gladly take the Eagles’ record the past dozen years. They were perennial contenders the first half of the 2000s; had an excellent 2008 team; and made the playoffs a couple of other times.

          And when they’ve struggled the last couple of years they have actually made a front office change Dallas? Please. They could sign Daffy Duck to replace Doug Free. They could go bottom out and go 6-10 next season. Sure, Garrett will probably be fired, but it won’t matter. Jerry and Stephen will still be there. There is no accountability. Nothing changes.

          1. DerfDiggy says:

            You’re not a Cowboys fan.

            1. Jeff says:

              Dallas has been a .500 team the past 15+ seasons because the front office structure is incompetent. It doesn’t work. I wish it were different. The sad part is that it won’t ever change.

%d bloggers like this: