This past week was filled with a lot of contractual talk regarding the Dallas Cowboys, and ultimately it was all for not as the team did not land a long-term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott. Contracts are always difficult to try and work out and they become all the more tricky when you are dealing with tens of millions of dollars. Quarterbacks are expensive and the Cowboys clearly know that, but they feel that not accepting whatever Prescott’s representation wanted was in their best interest for the 2020 season.
What about that 2020 season, though? Obviously we are all hopeful that there will be Dallas Cowboys football this fall, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic there are a lot of questions. Assuming that games are played, we are all generally in agreement that the Cowboys have a talented roster and could potentially make some noise.
Should they be happy with their roster as it is right now, though?
The Cowboys reportedly want to add “another piece or two” before the season starts
Stephen Jones has long referred to roster construction in the NFL as a business that takes up every hour of every day across the year, and while the season is scheduled to resume in about two months, that hardly means that the Cowboys should shoo away any opportunity to better their roster. What opportunities are there?
Less than a month ago it was reported that the Cowboys were one of two teams atop Jadeveon Clowney’s wish list (the New Orleans Saints being the other) and he remains on the open market. Adding him with their cap space could be problematic, though.
How interested is Dallas in adding talent at this point? According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the answer is, at the very least, mildly. Discussing the Dak Prescott situation on the latest Rapsheet and Friends podcast, Pelissero noted that the Cowboys are interested in adding “another piece or two” before the season but that Prescott’s now-fully guaranteed contract could make that a bit more challenging.
“When you are on a franchise tag, the entire tag counts against the cap that season. In other words you could do… you’ve got a $50M signing bonus, you can prorate that over five years. And so you spread $10M, $10M, $10M, $10M on top of your base salaries and you keep the numbers lower. Dak, he’s chewing up $31.4M of the cap this year. If he’s tagged again next year it will be $37.6M or something like that. That’s a big number for any player, not in any way targeted Dak doesn’t deserve it.”
“But when you’re talking about the Cowboys, they have maintained interest in free agents. I can tell you that for a fact. Even during this unusual summer here they would like to still add another piece or two before the season, and not getting a deal done with Dak hampers their ability to be able to do that, especially if it’s a one-year deal on somebody who might be sitting out there because that player’s one-year deal would also all hit the cap this year, other than if you had those phony voidable years that a lot of teams don’t like to do.”
It is true that had the Cowboys been able to work out a long-term deal with Dak that they likely would have adjusted his cap hit for this year which would have given them more money in the here and now to work with. Obviously that didn’t happen.
As things currently stand, the Dallas Cowboys, per OverTheCap.com, have just north of $11M in cap space for this season. They also still need to sign their rookie class. As Pelissero notes, whatever player they would bring in at this juncture would also have a fully-guaranteed salary so if you were hoping that it would be Clowney or another potential pass rusher then they would have to be very creative with their tight cap space.
Who would you like to see the Cowboys add at this point in the game?