The second week of the offseason is winding down for the Dallas Cowboys and the talk about contracts is all over the place. Discussions centering around Dak Prescott and his contractual situation are the subject of the hour. To this point there have already been multiple pieces written by people on the beat discussing how the Cowboys do not have to extend Dak Prescott this offseason (our own Brandon Loree discussed that idea here) in the name of creating salary cap relief. They can choose to restructure him if that strikes their fancy.
Ultimately, the Cowboys are going to have to do something with Dak Prescott’s deal whether it winds up being a restructure or extension. Not to be too dramatic or anything, but whatever choice they make will significantly shape the overall offseason.
But there are other places where the Cowboys will find some money as well.
The Cowboys seem to have an initial path for money outlined
ESPN’s Todd Archer discussed the Dak Prescott situation as well and he astutely laid out the options that we know to be the ones staring the Cowboys in the face. Restructure or extend. Doing nothing is not a probable option.
In discussing the subject though, Archer laid out some other details concerning the Cowboys’ finances and specifically said that they already plan to restructure the deals for both Zack Martin and Trevon Diggs.
The Cowboys already plan to restructure the contracts of All-Pro guard Zack Martin and cornerback Trevon Diggs, who is coming back from a torn ACL, which could net them about $20 million in cap space. They can restructure the deal of right tackle Terence Steele, too. They can designate wide receiver Michael Gallup a post-June 1 cut and gain $9.5 million, although they would not add that space until June.
They can sign All-Pro receiver CeeDee Lamb to an extension that would actually lower his $17.99 million cap figure and make him the highest-paid receiver in the game.
The cap is not a myth, but there are ways to work around the cap and push dollars into the future.
We all know that a Dak decision is incredibly important but getting this also laid out is equally valuable. At present time, Over The Cap has Dallas near $20M in the red in terms of salary cap space so any kind of flexibility is welcome. The Martin and Diggs restructures seem like they will get Dallas to ground zero so to speak.
Nothing is locked into place, but Archer is incredibly trustworthy and knowledgeable on financial situations so these all seem like things to bet on happening, including the Steele restructure and Michael Gallup departure. These are hardly radical ideas to be fair, but they do seem like an initial path that Dallas could take towards achieving cap space to play around with. As he also noted the team can additionally create ~$18M in space if they choose to go the restructure path with Dak Prescott.
What will the Cowboys use this for? Conventional wisdom says nothing super fun or shiny, but modern logic suggests that it would behoove them to go all in (forgive the dramatic expression) on the 2024 season. Perhaps they really are at least considering that right now.
The map is starting to present itself right now, what specific directions the Cowboys wind up taking ultimately remain to be seen.