The Cowboys got some good news as they boarded the plane for training camp in Oxnard: Tom Brady’s suspension was upheld meaning they get to face the defending Super Bowl-champion Patriots on Oct. 11 without the Hall-of-Fame quarterback.
But when they landed in California they received some bad news: Desiring a re-worked contract, defensive end Jeremy Mincey is not with the team.
Mincey, whose role could be diminished this season if and when Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory flourish, will be a free agent following this season after signing a two-year deal worth $3 million in the spring of 2014. He’s not asking for a trade. He’s not contemplating retirement. And he’s been in discussions with the Cowboys about a new contract since February.
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But, unless I’m missing something, the 31-year-old Mincey has zero leverage here. He’s got a fair contract that he signed last year and he needs to honor it. If he proves a better player than Hardy and Gregory and the team’s other pass-rushers, he’ll be rewarded handsomely. But that payday comes after the fact, not before it.
After all, Mincey was good last year. But not that good.
He led the team, but with only six sacks in 2014. He started every game on an improved defense that helped Dallas win 12 games, a division championship and a playoff game. In the post-season win over the Lions he had two sacks, a deflected pass, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Again, he was good. But if he was good enough, the Cowboys wouldn’t have felt the need to improve the position by signing Hardy and drafting Gregory.
If he doesn’t report to camp by Wednesday, Mincey will begin being fined $30,000 for each missed day. The Cowboys have the salary-cap room to re-work Mincey’s contract. But I’m just not sure they feel the motivation to do so.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.