The Dallas Cowboys are finally under the cap.
They managed to get under the cap for 2013 by restructuring a few contracts, which basically means they turned some of the players’ salaries into guaranteed signing bonuses. It’s a trend happening all over the NFL, but one that in the end could create more problems than the ones it solves.
Although the restructured deals lower a player’s cap hit in 2013, they don’t get rid of it. Make no mistake about it; every penny, every dime and every dollar of that deal will count against the cap at some point. One of the problems with restructuring contracts is that should the player who restructured their deal, see a decline in performance or suffer a devastating injury then the team is stuck with millions of dollars in “dead money.” What the Cowboys did this week was delay the inevitable by pushing that cap number off until another day.
Over the next two seasons, the Cowboys will see the contracts of DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Bruce Carter and Tyron Smith expire to name a few. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are that some of that talent will walk via free agency. What the Cowboys are doing in a sense is taking one step forward, and two steps back.
Going forward the Cowboys will have less money to re-sign those players because of the restructured deals. At 8-8 in consecutive seasons, it should be pretty apparent that the Cowboys are overpaying for underachieving talent. Jones may not want to admit it, but it may be time for the Cowboys to start rebuilding.
The first step; clear the books of those huge contracts.