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DALLAS, Texas (105.3 THE FAN) – The Cowboys won’t be pursuing a trade for Vikings superstar Adrian Peterson, two sources tell 105.3 The Fan, citing among the reasons the team’s more disciplined approach to spending at the running back position and the running back depth in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Peterson, who turned 30 today, clearly wants a fresh start from Minnesota and has expressed a desire to play for the Cowboys in his home state. But the Cowboys have never been interested in taking on his existing contract ($12, $15 and $17 million for the next three seasons) and believe even if he negotiates to a reduced rate, his salary would be exorbitant — especially compared to the fraction of the cost of exploring draft-eligible runners like Todd Gurley and Tevin Coleman.
This isn’t a “cap-hell’’ issue; Dallas can easily make the room to absorb any contract. It’s a bang-for-your-buck issue. The Cowboys just established that they are willing to pay what could end up being top dollar for the sort of talent that can’t usually be had an any price (Greg Hardy, who could end up making upwards of $11 million on his one-year non-guaranteed deal and available as a free agent because Carolina wished to rid itself of his domestic-violence controversy.).
Peterson is a rare talent, too, of course – the best running back of his generation. But the Cowboys have decided there are other ways to win at the position rather than overspend (see Dallas’ $6-mil ceiling on DeMarco Murray, allowed to leave for Philly’s almost-$9-mil-a-year deal) … and that Jerry Jones’ long-standing work to pull off above-the-marquee moves should be usurped by the goals of his son, COO Stephen Jones, to spend the allotted $143 million in cap room in a more football-responsible manner.
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