A few months ago I wrote the only move the Cowboys had to get out of "cap hell", was to release Demarcus Ware. Obviously the team took that route and he is now with the Broncos, but what about next year? What moves might the Cowboys make next year that could impact the positions they draft this year?
First, lets take a look at the players that most likely could be gone in 2015; Jason Witten, Brandon Carr, Doug Free, (Kyle Orton by choice). These players are set to count $36.876 Million against the Cap for 2015 and $34.816 against the 2016 Cap. These players are aging in Witten, and not playing up to their contracts in Carr and Free. If the Cowboys Cut Witten, Free, Orton and Designate Carr a June 1st Cut in 2015, they would save $20.688 Million in 2015 and $27.382 Million in 2016. The only way the Cowboys keep Carr is if his play drastically improves. The Cowboys did not restructure his contract this year, so next year they can get out of it if they choose.
Given this information the only player I see the Cowboys retaining in 2015 is Witten, because his cap hit is not that drastic and the majority of it is dead money.
So what does all this mean for the 2014 Draft? It means the Cowboys might have more "needs" than the media is suggesting. The positions include TE, RT, CB, and QB. Of these positions QB and RT have been talked about as potential draft picks in this years draft, but how many have the Cowboys drafting a TE or CB? I have not seen 1 mock draft that had the cowboys taking a TE or a CB. It is unlikely the Cowboys take a TE in the first 3 rounds of the draft because we drafted Escobar last year, but look for them to draft one later in the draft if the value is there. As for CB I can see the Cowboys drafting one in the first two rounds.
Teams draft for the future as well as the now, and the cap hit is one of the biggest signs to tell the future.
So if Donald, Barr, and Martin are not there, look for the Cowboys to possibly move back and select a CB, which could be Verrett, Fuller, or Darqueze Dennard. This would give the Cowboys leverage next year if Carr does not play up to his potential.