To Get AP, Cowboys Must Cut Brandon Carr


Acquiring Adrian Peterson from the Minnesota Vikings remains a fairytale for the Cowboys. Without money on hand, cutting Brandon Carr seems the most likely way to clear cash.

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t exactly swimming in salary cap space these days. Even with Tony Romo’s recent restructuring, the Cowboys are still a longs ways from affording Peterson’s hefty $12.75 price tag.

For clarification’s sake, restructuring Romo had nothing to do with Adrian Peterson, and everything to do with the defense. Romo’s restructuring freed up $12.8M salary cap space, most of which has already been spent.

Prior to the restructuring, the Dallas Cowboys were estimated to have between $1.5M – $2M available cap space. When Rolando McClain agreed to the Cowboys 1 year offer, the Cowboys lacked the available funds to file the paperwork. The Cowboys needed to clear cap space in order to make McClain official.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Restructuring Romo at that point was already a forgone conclusion because the Cowboys still had to pay for Greg Hardy. Without diving in too deeply, Greg Hardy’s 2015 salary is mostly built on a game-to-game bonus structure. Sure, he’s due some guaranteed money, workout bonus, and base pay totaling roughly $3M, but the bulk of it is a weekly bonus structure. This contract is especially unique because the weekly bonus protects the Cowboys from Greg Hardy’s impending suspension.

When the Cowboys signed Hardy they only needed to have $3M cleared in cap space, but still needed to eventually clear space for Hardy’s weekly bonus’. There was no rush to do so, but eventually something big would have to be done to afford Hardy. Tony Romo was always the likely candidate since a pretty hefty sum needed to be cleared for this and the upcoming draft.

How much money needs to be cleared remains to be seen. We won’t know how much of the Romo money will be used and is available until Roger Goodell decides on the suspension. Hardy is due roughly $575k per game in 2015. If Hardy is suspended for 6 games (which most project he will), he will earn $5.75M in weekly bonus’.

Add the $1.5M (the remaining half of McClain’s deal) and you have $7.5M coming out of Romo’s restructured contract savings, leaving only $5.3M behind for Adrian Peterson. As you can see, that number on its own isn’t in Adrian Peterson’s ballpark, now consider about $2M-3M of that needs to be used on signing draft picks and undrafted free agents (who aren’t cheap).

More from Sports Dallas Fort-Worth

You can add up the numbers many different ways but even with the slight variations from different sources (check out and, you still find yourself in a very similar spot – far far away from Adrian Peterson-type-money.

I’ve said it many times before and I’ll keep saying it – Adrian Peterson is not coming to Dallas. Too many obstacles need to be overcome, and doing so would greatly cripple the Cowboys’ future. Assuming a trade was worked out and the Cowboys did find a way of acquiring AD for something less than a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd rounder, they still would have to clear the cash.

The fastest way of clearing cash, is by making Brandon Carr a designated June 1st cut. It would free up $8M in 2015 (carrying the rest over to next year). This would still require Adrian Peterson to play at a discount, but at least it’s a feasible number.

None of this can happen until the Cowboys know exactly how long Greg Hardy will be suspended. Then the Cowboys must be able to afford the compensation Minnesota will ask for in return. Then the Cowboys must be able to find multiple players to fill the already-thin CB position group. If all of this can be overcome, then getting AD at the expense of Carr is a possibility.

Know this – it’s still a longshot at almost every step of the process and may make the Cowboys better contenders in 2015, but would cripple the franchise going forward.

Next: The Cowboys Never Wanted Murray

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email SportDFW at and you may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Don’t forget to include your first name.

Are you a Dallas/Fort Worth sports fan interested in writing about your favorite team(s). Apply online in minutes at: Be sure to mention SportDFW as your target site!