The Dallas Cowboys have to focus this offseason on retooling in the trenches. The offensive line was a huge problem in 2012 and needs to be overhauled, while the defensive line is aging and will require an extra starter as the 'Boys switch to the 4-3.
So we as look at Cowboys players on the bubble entering the 2013 offseason, it shouldn't surprise anyone that 80 percent of the guys we're about to touch on come from either the offensive or defensive line.
1. Doug Free
Not only has it become apparent that Free isn't good enough to start in this league based on his terrible performances the last two years, but his $11 million cap number for 2013 makes this an easy decision for the Cowboys.
Even if Free were willing to take a big paycut, I see no reason why Dallas should stick with him. This team needs a new right tackle to start opposite Tyron Smith.
2. Mackenzy Bernadeau
Free wasn't the only member of that offensive line to under-perform in 2012. Coming over from the Carolina Panthers, Bernadeau was a bust in his first season with the Cowboys. There's a chance they decide to keep him around because he's versatile enough to play center and Dallas is shallow in the guard and center spots, but I'm not sure he's even worth the $1.8 million he's due.
3. Miles Austin
I like Austin. I think his ability to force defenses to account for his presence in the slot is valuable. But is it worth the money Dallas is giving him? Now that Dez Bryant has emerged, the Cowboys could probably afford to put a cheaper option in the slot, cutting Austin in order to save $5 million in 2013.
Should the Cowboys cut Jay Ratliff
4. Marcus Spears
Depending on how confident the Cowboys feel about Tyrone Crawford, they could decide to release the veteran Spears in order to save a couple million bucks. That, though, will depend on how quickly Crawford progresses, as well as what happens with impending free agents Kenyon Coleman and Anthony Spencer.
I'm voting cut here because I just don't think Spears fits into what Dallas is going to be doing on defense. Oh, and he isn't exactly coming off a good season.
Find a way to keep: Jay Ratliff
Ratliff will be 32 this season and has begun to decline in recent years. He hasn't been able to stay healthy, but there's a chance he'll experience somewhat of a rejuvenation in a 4-3 defense in 2013. The Cowboys could really use his help, but they'll have to rework a contract that will see them taking a $7 million cap hit.