Cuts have to wait after Saturday

IRVING, Texas -- Tim MacMahon wrote today that it is time for the Cowboys to part ways with Marion Barber and Roy E. Williams, but there is some timing involved if they do not make those moves by Saturday.

After Saturday rosters are frozen until after the Super Bowl, per league rules, and players cannot be cut, so the earliest that could happen would be Feb. 7.

While the emotional move might be to just cut the excess after such a poor season, the economics of a move also have to be figured into a decision, too. A salary cap is expected to return once the owners and NFL Players Association reach an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement.

There will not be any get-out-of-cap-jail cards available, like teams had in 2010. The Cowboys cut Flozell Adams and Ken Hamlin in part because they did not have to worry about any cap ramifications.

Since Tim focused on Barber and Williams in his story, let’s look at the cap impact of those moves.

To cut Williams the Cowboys will have to accelerate $13.1 million against the cap based on the proration of the bonus money he has received. He is scheduled to count $9.484 million against the cap. That means it will end up costing the Cowboys $3.641 million of cap space to cut Williams. To me, that means he will be back in 2011, although Jerry Jones ate a sizable proration when he cut Terrell Owens in 2009.

As for Barber, the Cowboys would actually save $2.75 million against the cap if they cut him because his proration ($4 million) is less than his cap number ($6.75 million).