Cowboys Making Moves
Like LB Justin Durant, Allen essentially only had an understanding in place for a future contract earlier today. Dallas restructured the contract of backup QB Kyle Orton, which gave them room — $383,000 more, to be exact — to sign Durant. The team then released WR Anthony Armstrong, which cleared an extra $630,000, in order to free up some space to officially sign Allen.
With S Ryan Mundy playing poorly, Allen took over and started eight games in place of Troy Polamalu for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season. He played fairly well, recording 34 tackles, one forced fumble and three pass deflections in nine starts and 16 games. However, after three seasons in Pittsburgh, he was left to fend for himself in free agency.
Entering his 10th season in the NFL, Allen should at least compete with Matt Johnson — the team’s fourth-round pick out of the 2012 NFL Draft — for the starting safety job opposite Barry Church in Dallas. However, Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas said that indications are that the Cowboys like Johnson, and it’ll be easier for him to beat out Allen.
In a deep safety market, Allen was certainly one of the lower tier safeties available, but it’s a low-cost signing that should provide some depth and experience for the team’s secondary. This also allows the team to focus their attention on other areas of need — whether it is in the draft or through free agency — such as their O-line.
Dallas now has about $25,000 in cap space, but they still have a lot of work to do before they can make enough room to sign their impending draft picks and any other potential free agents they have their sights on.