It seems like the Dallas Cowboys are always in big trouble with their salary cap, yet the only time it’s really bitten them was a couple of years ago when team owner and general manager Jerry Jones front loaded a bunch of contracts in the uncapped year. However, the 2013 NFL season looks to be a real doozy for Dallas if Jones doesn’t figure something out quick. The league has tentatively set the salary cap at $121 million for this season and right now the Cowboys are at a little over $143 million.
Yes, that’s incredibly bad, but that isn’t even the half of it. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will be a free agent at the end of the season and the team can’t even think about his new contract until something is down about the current situation. In addition, Dallas is in no position to even think about re-signing prize free agent linebacker Anthony Spencer this offseason. That’s not to mention fellow former first-round picks Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins, who are also free to sign wherever they please now.
The latter two players mentioned above are somewhat expendable at this point, especially considering the current cap situation, but the first two are not. However, it now appears Dallas is going to lose Spencer for sure and if some drastic changes aren’t made soon, Romo’s future will also be in jeopardy.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, those drastic changes are also necessary if the team even wants to think about replacing those players through the draft or future free agency. So even if Romo, Spencer, Jones, Jenkins and free agent linebacker Victor Butler (Spencer’s primary backup who is also a free agent) leave, the Cowboys would still be in trouble cap-wise. Right now, speculation around Valley Ranch is that Dallas will try to restructure the contracts of DeMarcus Ware, Brandon Carr and Jason Witten. However, those restructures will only mean another situation like this in another two to three years. It’s a never-ending cycle of stupidity with this team.
If necessary, Jerry will cut some veterans he deems expendable (Lord help us with those decisions) to get under the cap. Under-achieving right tackle Doug Free seems like a prime candidate, but he still counts over $10 million against the cap, so that wouldn’t help much. So in short, Dallas is likely to lose a ton of its core players in the next 12 months. Get used to mediocrity, fellow Cowboys fans. Oh wait, we’ve been used to it for almost 20 years now! Shakin’ my head…