Cowboys cut CB Terence Newman

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com
Newman's play slipped in recent years and now he's a free agent. (Getty Images)

It came as no surprise but now it's official: the Cowboys released cornerback Terence Newman shortly before the start of free agency Tuesday. The 2003 first-round pick saw his productivity slip in recent years and Dallas couldn't justify the $8 million salary Newman was set to make in 2012. Depending on how the team designates the move, it could save them between $4-$6 million.

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There was speculation that Newman would've been cut before the 2011 season. Owner/general manager Jerry Jones really wanted Nnamdi Asomugha during last summer's brief free-agency period and the way he went about it is worth retelling here. ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon recounts the weirdness from training camp last August:

"It was quite a surreal scene: a giddy Jerry Jones handing defensive coordinator Rob Ryan his cellphone on the Alamodome sideline during practice, hoping Ryan could close the Cowboys' recruiting campaign on All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, a conversation that happened about 10 yards away from where Newman and the other defensive backs ran drills."

In recent weeks, reports had the Cowboys targeting Cortland Finnegan and Brandon Carr, though now Carr seems more likely.

Newman, 33, was a top-flight corner early in his career but he's probably a sub-package defensive back going forward. There are worst fates, of course, and in the right system Newman could play for two or three more seasons. Just not for the Cowboys.

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