Relatively early Thursday Morning, ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted the following little nugget...
NFL's salary cap now projected to rise to about $130 million, up 5 percent from $123 million last year, per league sources. More $ for all.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 20, 2014
This news should come as very big news to those who follow the Cowboys and allows fans, and members of the Jones family, to take a collective sigh of relief. Todd Archer argues that the extra cap room won't affect the Cowboys plans in free agency and I agree with his sentiment there. But I believe that this is a huge deal for Dallas from both a short- and long-term perspective.
The cycle the Cowboys have been on of restructuring contracts, pushing money into future caps in order to get under the current cap, works fine when you have relatively young players who you are confident will play out the full length of their contracts. However, when those guys reach that magical NFL age of 30 (QBs notwithstanding) it becomes a dangerous proposition to push money back into season where a player might be 33 or 34 years of age. This is the conundrum the Cowboys find themselves in. The players they have traditionally leaned on for those restructures, namely DeMarcus Ware, & Jason Witten are no longer spring chickens, and the level of certainty surrounding their on-going tenure with the team has diminished significantly. Thus you do NOT want to have to push money back on guys like that.
This extra cap space makes the team's choices in the next two and a half weeks, leading up to the start of the new league year, much easier. As an exercise, I used the best thing going on the internet, also known as the Salary Cap Calculator, at OvertheCap.com to see what it would take to get the Cowboys below the $130 million mark. These are the moves I made, including the approximate savings generated by those moves.
- Tony Romo ($10 million)
- Brandon Carr ($5 million)
- Sean Lee ($4 million)
- Orlando Scandrick ($3 million)
- Jeremy Parnell ($1 million)
- Justin Durant ($1 million)
- Phil Costa ($1 million)