Analyzing salaries of Cowboys, East rivals

At the start of the free agency period this spring, the Cowboys had the highest payroll in the NFL. But after the Chicago Bears inked Julius Peppers to a long-term high-price deal, the Cowboys moved down a bit.

Football Outsiders' J.I. Halsell did a salary breakdown of the NFC East -- you have to be a ESPN Insider to read the whole thing, and it's worth it -- that has some interesting things to say about running back Marion Barber, who has one of the highest salaries on the team. He will make a base salary of $3.86 million this season in addition to his already paid $4 million roster bonus.

Here's what Halsell said about Barber: "When you have the fourth-highest salary on your club, you should be the starter at your position. With that in mind, Barber faces a tough training camp battle from third-year running back Felix Jones. Even if Jones wins the battle, Barber will get his fair share of touches as the Cowboys' power back."

NFC East blogger Matt Mosley previews the NFC East and talks about Cowboys left tackle Doug Free.