Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ Ronald Leary, J.J. Wilcox among top recipients for performance pay

Cowboys guard Ron Leary earned more than $286,000 for his play last season. (Star-Telegram/Ron T. Ennis)
Cowboys guard Ron Leary earned more than $286,000 for his play last season. (Star-Telegram/Ron T. Ennis) Star-Telegram

Cowboys guard Ronald Leary and safety J.J. Wilcox were among the top paid players in the NFL’s “Performance-Based Pay” program, the league announced Friday.

Leary will earn an additional $286,813 for his play in 2014, the 11th-most among eligible NFL players. Wilcox will get $245,173, the 22nd-most in the league. Nice paychecks considering Leary had a base salary of $495,000 last season, and Wilcox made $505,000.

Leary was the highest-earner last season, as well, getting an additional $307,104. The Cowboys re-signed him earlier this off-season to a $585,000 contract as an exclusive rights free agent.

The Cowboys had 10 additional players who all recieved more than $100,000 -- LB Anthony Hitchens, WR Terrance Williams, CB Sterling Moore, DT Tyrone Crawford, LB Rolando McClain, TE James Hanna, DT Nick Hayden, LB Kyle Wilber, S Jeff Heath and WR Cole Beasley.

The entire NFL pool is $116.256 million, designated to reward players based on a comparison of playing time to salary. The Cowboys share was $3.633 million.

Leary started 15 games at left guard for the Cowboys last season, as part of arguably the top offensive line in the league. Wilcox started all 16 games at safety, with three interceptions and five passes defended.

The money awarded to the players does not count against their team’s salary cap.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison