Cowboys lock down Phil Costa onto two-year extension
Phil Costa was set to become a restricted free agent by the March deadline, and the Dallas Cowboys would have been required to offer a $1.323 million tender in 2013 to secure him. But with the new contract worth $2.7 million, including a $450,000 signing bonus, Phil Costa will only count $975,000 against the cap. Hence the Dallas Cowboys save roughly $350,000 of salary cap space by setting up the new contract.
Since signing as an undrafted free agent out of Maryland with the Dallas Cowboys, Phil Costa gradually moved up the depth chart, starting at center for the entire 2011 season. However, Phil Costa only started three games in 2013 during a season marred by back and ankle injuries. Phil Costa missed most of training camp with back issues and re-aggravated that injury in the season opener against the New York Giants. The three-year veteran Phil Costa returned in Week 6 against the Baltimore Ravens, helping the Dallas Cowboys rack-up 227 rushing yards (the most the Ravens have ever allowed on the ground).The Dallas Cowboys offensive unit has been in better form when Phil Costa joins them on the field. But the Dallas Cowboys again lost Phil Costa to a dislocated ankle in the Week 7 win over the Carolina Panthers. After undergoing mid-season ankle surgery, Phil Costa spent the rest on 2012 on the injured-reserve.
The 25-year-old Phil Costa should be able to take part in most of the offseason workouts, and is expected to return to the starting lineup in 2013. During Phil Costa’s absence Ryan Cook and Mackenzy Bernadeau started 11 and two games respectively last season at center for the Dallas Cowboys.
Phil Costa is the second player the Dallas Cowboys re-signed this week, following long snapper L.P. Ladouceur’s cap-friendly contract on Thursday. The Dallas Cowboys also previously restructured contracts of several veteran players, including DeMarcus Ware, receiver Miles Austin, tight end Jason Witten, cornerback Brandon Carr and Ryan Cook to clear over $20 million in cap space for their 2013 salary cap. Cornerback Orlando Scandrick, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, as well as guards Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau could face future restructured contracts in the Dallas Cowboys’ attempt to get under the 2013 salary cap estimated over $123 million.