The Cowboys already have $138.2 million committed to next season and the salary cap is projected to be in the $140 million range.
But that, owner Jerry Jones alluded to on his KRLD-FM radio show Thursday morning, will not prevent the Cowboys from being players in free agency this offseason.
Jones said he expects the organization to be active in that department, particularly in their efforts to bolster their pass rush. The Cowboys ranked 28th in the NFL with 28 sacks this season.
Jeremy Mincey led the team with six sacks and he’s under contract for next season. So are Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence, two players who made strides as the season wore on.
But it’s an area that needs improvement, evident by the lack of pressure on Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers in last week’s divisional round loss.
“I’d love to have the opportunity to improve that pass rush in the range of something that we could afford and makes sense logically,” Jones said. “You know and I know that to get, you’ve got to not get something else. It’s either or.
“That’s how it is with the cap and working the team.”
Jones also discussed running back DeMarco Murray’s pending free agency. Murray was the NFL’s leading rusher and set the franchise’s single-season rushing record with 1,845 yards.
But Jones didn’t divulge too much on how the team will go about handling Murray’s situation.
“It’d be trite to say he’s a vital part of our team and there’s no question we could be a better team with him than without him,” Jones said. “On the other hand, we don’t want to get into how we’re going to try that or what we’re going to try to do in a strategy session to keep these key players.”
Wide receiver Dez Bryant is the other big name in the final year of his rookie contract, and each side has made it clear they’d like to reach a long-term extension. However, if that can’t be reached, Jones has said the Cowboys would use the franchise tag on Bryant to keep him around for at least another year.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760