Would you believe the guy who lost the cornerback battle to Pro Bowler Mike Jenkins? That's right, Orlando Scandrick.
According to the NFL's performance-based bonus system, Scandrick was the Cowboys' biggest bang-for-buck player last season. As a 5th-round draft pick who started one game but played primarily on passing downs and special teams, Scandrick had a base salary of $385,000 but earned a bonus of $306,209, 9th-highest in the NFL. Scandrick was also Dallas' highest-paid, lowest-paid (I know, very confusing) player in 2008.
Minnesota Vikings' center John Sullivan received the biggest check, getting $397,555.The league uses a formula based on playing time percentage and a player's salary cap. So the rookie who plays the most to the veteran who plays the least all get a check. For instance, Chicago Bears' middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, who played in only 35 snaps in the team's opener before suffering a season-ending injury, got only $452.
Other Cowboys receiving more than $100,000 included tight end John Phillips, offensive lineman Doug Free and defensive back Alan Ball. No word on whether Roy Williams was forced to give the Cowboys and the NFL a rebate.
Despite being high draft choices, Jenkins and Anthony Spencer also earned bonuses. Which begs the question, who will be the next Cowboy to "make the leap" into a prominent role?
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.