We are in the middle of a week that has featured a lot of news around the National Football League, particularly the Dallas Cowboys. On Monday evening America’s Team stunned just about everyone and announced a long-term deal with quarterback Dak Prescott after over two long years of negotiations. Free agency begins next week so it was important for Dallas to dot their own i’s and cross their t’s. With Dak done and in the rearview mirror they can finally move forward.
Before any NFL team could properly move forward, the salary cap for 2021 had to officially be set. It has been known that the value, which had gone up every year for almost a decade, was going to diminish as a result of revenue lost last season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday morning we learned that the salary cap will officially be $182.5M in 2021. Remember that the Cowboys rolled over $25.4M from 2020 which left them with a grand total of $207.9M for this season.
Teams are now being informed: The cap is $182.5M.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2021
A look at the salary cap carryover for 2021: pic.twitter.com/Q5JELBem2u— NFLPA (@NFLPA) February 19, 2021
NFL set 2021 salary cap at $182.5M. An expected fallout from pandemic, this is well below last year’s $198.2M and the prepandemic estimate of $210M.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 10, 2021
According to NFLPA, Cowboys carried $25.4M of unused cap space from last year. Their adjusted cap: $207.9M. Team planned for this.
At present time the Cowboys are just barely clearing under the salary cap bar, but they are underneath it. While that is a frustrating idea in theory, consider that they still have several restructures that they will very likely take care of between now and the start of free agency.
What’s more is that all of this accounts for Dak Prescott at a $22.2M salary cap value for this season which is a result of his new deal. Had the Cowboys been forced to actually place the franchise tag on Dak (they technically did it as a temporary placeholder before he signs his contract) they would have had to have found $15.5M more in cap space as Dak’s tag value was $37.7M for this year.
The Dallas Cowboys are moving forward and now know the financial parameters that they will be operating within. Onward.