News is trickling out that the cap may be at $132 million not the $126 or even the $130 that we heard earlier. At a conservative estimate this puts the Cowboys at $19 million over the cap. Doing even some conservative restructuring gets us below the cap and with room for extensions to Dez and Tyron.
Please note, I calculated saving to a contract restructured to a base salary of $1 million and not the vet minimum. I avoided the vet minimum to keep things simple and to be a little conservative. In other words, there still a little left at the bottom of the barrel to scrape.
Restructures to Romo, Carr, Witten, Lee, and Scandrick save $9.75, $4.875, $3, $3.375, and $2.625 million respectively for a total of $23.625 million saved this cap year. This would place the Cowboys $4.625 under the cap.
In addition to these moves the Cowboys can save another $2.75 million by cutting Durant and Costa. These players look like backups next year and IMO backups don't need to be paid this well. Making Austin a June 1st cut saves another $5.5 million. This brings our total under the cap to $12.875.
Reserving $6 million for rookies and other low level signings, the Cowboys have almost $7 million dollars of space to use on Dez and Tyrone. And they should use it now. With the cap going up and so many teams with space already, contracts will inflate. This much space can get their contracts done but not much more.
The Cowboys are in a slightly better position than last year. The example given restructures roughly the same amount as last year but does so with less players, younger players, and players who will be with the team beyond next year. Last year the likes of Ratlif and Austin were restructured. Of note is the lack of a restructure for Ware this year. I think we need him on the team but a restructure may not be appropriate in light of the injuries. A new incentive laden deal or a pay cut would be welcome, but in a conservative exercise I'd rather avoid that postulation.
This example also doesn't allow for many free agents, so the Cowboys remain in the same position: they must depend on the draft to maintain and build. In my estimation they would need to do this anyway, they are not one player away. What the example does do is build a nice path to some cap relief and keeps our best players. With the meat of the NFL TV revenue coming in over the next few years the Cowboys will continue to be in a much better position going forward and that is something that hasn't happened in a long time.