Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys need to clear more salary cap room

Before Jason Garrett and his staff can make any significant off-season moves, they have to create more salary-cap room.
Before Jason Garrett and his staff can make any significant off-season moves, they have to create more salary-cap room. AP

When the Dallas Cowboys talk about not making a splash in free agency because of an organization philosophy of not wanting to spend big money on outside guys, it’s a design based on reality.

The Cowboys don’t have the money to make a lot of moves in free agency.

Per overthecap.com and spotrac.com, the Cowboys are last in the NFL in cap space.

And this is taking in the newly-released cap figure of $167 million for 2017.

OTC has the Cowboys with $3.3 million in cap room heading into free agency, while Spotrac has the Cowboys with $5.5 million.

As executive vice president Stephen Jones likes to say, the cap is a moving target for the Cowboys, which could explain the variance in numbers.

But what is not in dispute is that the Cowboys have the worst cap situation in the NFL.

The Cowboys had already restructured the contracts of tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick to clear $17.3 million in room.

Jones said it is possible that the team will restructure more deals to create additional salary space.

It’s also one reason the decision on the future of quarterback Tony Romo will come sooner than later.

Romo has a $24.7 salary cap figure for next year. If he is traded or released, the Cowboys would get $5.1 million in cap space. But Romo would count $19.6 million against the cap.

They could split the cap charge over two years if they designate him a post-June 1 release. He would count $10.7 million against the cap in 2017 and $8.9 million in 2018. But the full $24.7 charge must be carried on the cap until June 2, limiting the Cowboys’ ability to make moves in the height of free agency.

So look for the Cowboy to possibly release him early and take the hit now so they can gain the $5.1 million in space.

“It’s a situation where, at some point we’ll have to get that contract whole under the salary cap,” Jones said.

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