Terence Newman: Will Dallas Cowboys Keep the Veteran Cornerback?

Tom FirmeAnalyst IIJanuary 17, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 1: Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants gets past Terence Newman #41 of the Dallas Cowboys after making a catch during a game at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Terence Newman isn't the most popular guy in Dallas right now. Newman, after nine years with the Dallas Cowboys, could see his time with his long-time team come to an end before the 2012 season begins. The Cowboys had some underwhelming players on defense, and Newman was one of them. Newman's performance salary could cause the Cowboys to usher him out.

Newman had nice statistics in 2011. He was tied for the team lead with four interceptions, led the team with 10 pass deflections and had 45 solo tackles and a fumble recovery.

However, he only had one deflection in the last four weeks.

Also, Newman gave up 41 catches on 69 targets for 623 yards. That's a fairly high percentage.

Newman is often criticized for being soft in coverage. According to Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News, "He continues to play six to eight yards off the ball and has shied away from press coverage. He's not the same athlete he once was and it has really shown as the year has progressed."

Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan defended his play in press coverage, saying, "I know if he had to cover somebody and his life was on the line and it was a man-coverage thing, I'm sure Terence would be down there pressing."

Newman isn't the least of the culprits of defensive problems for the Cowboys. He gave up the game-winning catch to Calvin Johnson in Week 4, and the Giants beat him a few times in Week 14.

His salary also poses an issue. Newman will be an $8 million cap hit in 2012 and, according to ESPNDallas/Fort Worth, the Cowboys would save $4 million by cutting him. While the Cowboys would still owe money to Newman, they would save more than the amount for a new young cornerback.

Letting Newman go wouldn't be a bad move. The Cowboys may not be deep at cornerback, but they can get one or two in the draft. Morris Claiborne of LSU would be a great pick, as would Dre Kirkpatrick of Alabama. Claiborne runs a 4.45 40-yard dash, while Kirkpatrick is a heady defender who had nine pass deflections this season. Cornerbacks are easy to come by.

A sentimental Cowboys fan might like to see Newman stay. He's been around the Cowboys organization since the beginning of the Bill Parcells era and has given the Cowboys good service in his nine years, intercepting 32 passes and earning two Pro Bowl appearances.

Newman had his moments for the Cowboys, such as a 56-yard punt return for a touchdown against the Lions in 2006 and his devilish interception against the New England Patriots in 2011.

However, the business isn't nice to everyone. Jerry Jones surely likes relationships, but the heartstrings won't tug hard enough to keep Newman in Dallas. Expect Newman to be cut and the Cowboys to find a rookie to fill his spot.