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Cowboys Restructure Tony Romo's Contract, Free Up Cap Space

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The Cowboys decided they needed some room in regards to the salary cap.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys decided they needed to restructure Tony Romo's contract for a second straight offseason in order to free up some room under the cap. Romo was going to cost the Cowboys $27 million against the cap this year which would have been tops in the league. $17 million of that was his base salary.

The Cowboys created $12.8 million in cap space according to the Dallas Morning News. Romo's base for 2015 will be $1 million with the other $16 million moved into a signing bonus. The Cowboys had some free agents to officially sign, including Rolando McClain who just agreed to a deal; Romo's restructure will allow them to do that. They could also potentially go after some more bargain free agents (Anthony Spencer?) if they so choose.

Of course, restructuring contacts has a downside. The Cowboys are pushing money against the cap on Romo's contract  to future years. Releasing Romo in the future would come with a substantial dead money hit against the cap. With Romo's age and recent back injuries, the Cowboys are gambling he will be able to play at a high level for the next five years. This restructure will add $3.2 million to his salary cap hit for 2016 to 2019 (figures again from the DMN).

That means Romo's salary cap hit in the final four years of his deal look this way: $20.8 million in 2016, $24.7 million in 2017, $25.2 million in 2018 and $23.7 million in 2019.

The Cowboys are going all-in to win with Romo now, and gambling with their salary cap on his future health and high level of play.