The directive won’t force Dallas into desperate status before next week’s trade deadline.
FRISCO – The Dallas cowboys (5-1) have a comfortable advantage in the NFC East, they look like contenders in the conference, and with chances of reaching the first Super bowl for the franchise since 1995.
A tip from the wise: enjoy this moment because it could be difficult to replicate it beyond 2021.
There are already rumors about the offensive coordinator Kellen moore becoming head coach by 2022, especially when the former quarterback Tony romo is commenting on the games of the Cowboys by CBS. The defensive coordinator Dan quinn could return to the pool of candidates as head coach, considering the way he has rebuilt the defense of Dallas. And, there are a number of assistants who could theoretically move into more prominent roles, such as the high school coach / passing game coordinator, Joe whitt.
But, the biggest issue with the Cowboys will be the challenge they face with the salary cap.
The cap for next year will be set at 208 million. Currently, Cowboys They can add another $ 3.5 million of unused cap space in 2021 to their 2022 total, leaving the figure at around 211.5 million.
According to ESPN Roster Management System, the value of Cowboys Against the top of the following year it is already 217.7 million dollars, with 43 players under contract. Also, they will have a charge of at least $ 6.86 million in dead money, for players who are no longer on the roster. The total of the 10 highest paid players in the squad for the following year accounts for 171.96 million dollars, led by the quarterback Dak prescott and his charge for 34.45 million.
Nothing is impossible when it comes to the salary cap and contract restructurings, cuts, and negotiations, but even those three options do not provide Cowboys an absolute scratch-free exit from the mess.
“It will be a challenge for us to figure out how we deal with the cap,” admitted the executive vice president. Stephen Jones. “It was always going to be difficult, speculating how far the cap would go until you go through a normal full season, or just normal beyond the pandemic. We will start to have a better idea going forward regarding how we manage and project the salary cap. “
Restructuring the Prescott contract would open up the most space, maybe up to $ 15 million. That would be the simplest decision for Cowboys, and the reason it was signed for six years with two rescindible last March.
Them would rather avoid restructuring contracts of the corridor Ezekiel Elliott, guard Zack martin and offensive tackle Tyron smith for a combination of age, injury and future ramifications against the salary cap.
The five-game suspension of the offensive tackle La’el Collins cost him a guarantee of $ 6.48 million on his base salary of 10 million by 2022. With the way that Terence steele has played so well in his absence – at a much lower cost – the Cowboys they could choose to go ahead without Collins at the end of this campaign to create some space, either 1.3 million as a frank cut, or up to 10 million with a post-June 1 appointment.
Release the wide receiver Amari Cooper and to the defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence would mean for Cowboys open at least 24 million in space under the cap.
So the question becomes: how do you replace the Cowboys to Cooper and Lawrence, and if they would be better off without them and Collins?
Retaining your own free agents is always a priority for the Cowboys.
At wide receiver, they would retain Michael Gallup under this scenario, but what will happen to Cedrick Wilson, whose pay must be increased based on his productivity (14 receptions, 168 yards, two touchdowns) in the absence of Gallup for a calf problem?
On defensive end, they would retain Randy gregory, who accumulates four sacks and is in the best level of his life. Perhaps the patience of the Cowboys With the 2015 second-round pick through multiple suspensions that cost him 54 games, he was rewarded in negotiations. And, without no? Placing the franchise or transition player tag would have to be a possibility.
Now, look at the rest of the starters or regulars slated to reach unrestricted free agency in 2022 who play priority roles for offense, defense or special teams.
Tight end production Dalton schultz In the last couple of seasons (94 catches, seven touchdowns between 2020 and 2021), they’ve got him in line to cash in big. If the New England Patriots they paid Jonnu Smith and Hunter henry more than $ 12 million per year, so Schultz will be in that neighborhood. Can the Cowboys afford that? If yes, then they might have to solve something with Blake jarwin, who is under agreement until 2023.
The Cowboys declined to validate the option to the fifth year of the linebacker’s contract Leighton Vander Esch by 2022, so he will become a free agent. But, the coaches have been pleased with his level of play thus far, credited with 29 tackles and two tackles for loss of yardage. Will they give Jabril cox, fourth-round pick this year, a bigger role?
Connor williams has started all but three games as left guard since 2018. Offensive linemen are hard to find, and despite their mistakes – seven accepted penalties against them – another team might be able to pay them more than Cowboys. What’s more, Dallas can resort to Connor McGovern as the owner, if necessary.
This year, Cowboys they were able to hit their economic free agency signings as the linebacker Keanu Neal, the safeties Damontae Kazee, Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker, and defensive ends Carlos Watkins and Brent urban. Beyond the Cowboys Whether or not they decide to bring any of them back in 2022, will they be able to? If not possible, can they be as successful in 2022 with cheap short-term free agents again?
Finding answers by the end of October for issues that need to be resolved next March is difficult, but Jones and his group prefer a broad perspective on the future salary cap issue.
Jones admitted the complexity of the challenge ahead, but will not force Cowboys to desperate status before next week’s trade deadline.
“We always work not only for the moment, but for the long term,” he revealed. Jones. “We would never just say, ‘Hey, we bet it all on one season,’ especially with this young football team.”