The Cowboys have informed receiver Roy Williams, running back Marion Barber, guard Leonard Davis and kicker Kris Brown they will be released, a source said. Tackle Marc Colombo also is expected to be released. He said Tuesday morning that he had met with owner Jerry Jones but was vague in whether his future is in Dallas.
Williams never lived up to expectations after the Cowboys gave up four draft picks, including a first-rounder in 2009, to get him from Detroit in the middle of the 2008 season. In 40 games with the Cowboys, he had 94 catches for 1,324 yards and 13 touchdowns. Williams, who signed a contract extension with the Cowboys on the day of the trade, was scheduled to make a $5.1 million base salary and would have counted $9.5 million against the cap. His release will save the Cowboys $5 million.
Barber's release, which was long expected, saves the Cowboys $4.75 million. He was scheduled to make a $4.25 million base salary and a $500,000 bonus. He had a career-low 113 carries for a career-low 374 yards and a career-low four touchdowns last season and has never had a 1,000-yard season in his six seasons despite the Cowboys signing him to a seven-year, $45 million deal in 2008 that included $16 million in guaranteed money. He will be replaced by Felix Jones, Tashard Choice and rookie DeMarco Murray.
Davis had been scheduled to make $6 million in base salary and count $9.4 million against the cap. Montrae Holland could be Davis' replacement, if Davis is not re-signed to a lower salary.
Brown was signed two days before the season finale against Philadelphia as competition to David Buehler. However, the Cowboys found cheaper competition on the rookie free agent market, signing Oklahoma State kicker Dan Bailey. Brown was scheduled to make $910,000 this season.
The Cowboys began the day some $18 million over the league's $120 million salary cap. They will get a $3 million credit as part of the agreement with the players, but it still was necessary for them to release several players to get under the cap.
-- Clarence E. Hill Jr./Charean Williams