In an effort to create more salary cap space, the Cowboys are expected to restructure Tony Romo’s contract at some point this offseason.
That’s how the Cowboys designed their six-year, $108 million contract for Romo two years ago, a deal that has $55 million guaranteed. Essentially, the Cowboys will convert his base salary into a signing bonus to create cap room.
Romo is scheduled to make $17 million in 2015 with his cap number coming in at $27.7 million, something that will be significantly reduced assuming the Cowboys restructure his deal for the second consecutive offseason. Last year, the Cowboys created about $10 million in cap space by doing so.
That decision gives them more flexibility to re-sign their own free agents, as well as pursue others on the market. The Cowboys can clear additional space by doing a similar thing with left tackle Tyron Smith’s contract.
“We all realize that anything you push forward that if you don’t use it it’ll cost you cap space that you could use for other players,” owner Jerry Jones said this week at the Senior Bowl. “On an older player, the farther you put it out in the future the less likely you are to use it. That’s the point. That is the trick.
“On the other hand, the effort is to right now put together the best value we can using those dollars and that’s the art of the deal. I will tell you when I look at Tony I certainly do see four or five more years, so nothing scares me four or five years out.”
Jerry Jones, as well as executive vice president Stephen Jones, each stated the importance of building a team capable of winning it all with Romo. They know that window isn’t going to stay open for too many more years, making it a priority to have the necessary cap space to add the final pieces.
“This was carefully thought out when we made our agreement with Tony,” Jerry Jones said. “We knew that as we moved along there will be reallocation is the best way to say it with his salary, moving it around so that at a given time we could put the best group together with his supporting cast.”
Update on the locals
This year’s Senior Bowl features plenty of players from area colleges.
The headline player is Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, who is trying to show NFL teams he is more than capable of transitioning from a spread offense into a pro-style offense.
Petty has shown flashes at times, but is still considered a work-in-progress.
But one local player who has certainly stood out for the right reasons is TCU cornerback Kevin White. He is somewhat undersized for the pros, however, has shown good technique and recovery speed.
He has certainly helped his draft stock so far this week.
“It’s way important,” White said of the Senior Bowl. “This is the first time a lot of these GMs and coaches see us play this close up, so it’s a great opportunity.”
White came to the Senior Bowl with teammate Tayo Fabuluje, an offensive tackle who won’t play because of a hip injury.
Other notables include Baylor wide receiver Antwan Goodley, Texas defensive back Quandre Diggs and Texas linebacker Jordan Hicks.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, made a gift of $10.65 million to the University of Arkansas Razorbacks athletic program. The gift is a combination of cash to be paid over a five-year period and land donated to the Razorback Foundation. The money will be used to help support a soon to be completed student-athlete success center, a Wild Band of Razorbacks monument to establish a permanent tribute to the Razorbacks’ 1964 national championship football team, and a football team locker room at the Fred W. Smith Football Center. Jones played on the Hogs’ national title team.
In other Arkansas news, executive vice president Stephen Jones has been elected to the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
“I’m humbled. I guess they’re running out of candidates up in Arkansas,” Jones said, smiling. “I’m probably not going in there for my playing ability. I was a special teamer at Arkansas and a decent quarterback at Catholic, but it’s certainly an honor.”
▪ Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on defensive tackle Henry Melton’s season: “We all had hoped from the day that he got there and OTAs that he would be at Pro Bowl form. That was probably unrealistic, but that’s a goal. … In general, I did see progress.”
▪ Baylor WR Antwan Goodley on seeing former teammates such as the Cowboys’ Terrance Williams and the Titans’ Kendall Wright in the NFL: “Baylor is Wide Receiver U, that’s what we’re going to continue to be. We want to keep that tradition going.”