The future of the Dallas Cowboys salary cap is looking bright however there is one player in particular whose cap hit is looking very problematic.
The Dallas Cowboys are finally getting their cap situation back on track. With a projected $70 plus million in cap space by 2019, the team is financially in the best position possible. They can sign their younger stars to long-term deals and add some talented pieces if necessary.
But which player’s contract has become more of a burden in recent years? Let’s take a look at the most overpaid player on the Cowboys roster.
It is hard really to pick an individual player at this point that has a salary that is negatively affecting this roster. There is one player that stands out and not for the right reasons. Tyrone Crawford is an excellent leader, a versatile player, and is pretty good at stopping the run.
His contract however is fairly large and his production simply does not match up to the number on paper. His current cap hit is around $9 million for the 2018 season and that number will only increase in 2019. His base salary will increase as well from $6 million in 2018 to $8 million in 2020.
Freeing up $10 million in cap space over the next two years could be crucial for this football team as some big signings should occur. If a release or restructure were to happen expect it to come in 2019 as that is when Crawford will only have a dead cap hit of $4.2 million.
Crawford has only had four sacks over the last two seasons and now sitting purely at defensive end that will have to change. The veteran defensemen shed some weight and has is looking leaner than ever to get ready for a bigger role at defensive end. The only problem with that is that the Dallas Cowboys already have several effective pass rushers.
DeMarcus Lawrence, Taco Charlton, Kony Ealy, 2018 rookie Dorance Armstrong, and Charles Tapper will all be fighting for snaps at both end spots and adding Crawford to that will just muddy the waters even further.
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Tapper has missed a ton of time because of injury so getting him some snaps to see what he really can do before the front office has to make a decision on him is critical. Having Crawford as a defensive tackle made sense as that position is far less solidified.
Essentially he is being paid more to play less (or to play in a less effective role). That fact is likely not lost on him or the front office so this should be a big year for Crawford. To put his contract into perspective he has the fifth largest cap hit on the roster.
As the Dallas Cowboys begin to re-sign the standouts on this roster production is crucial if you are a player looking for long-term security. If Crawford has a down season (which could be by no fault of his own) that could mean the end of his time in Dallas.
With Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Zack Martin, DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, and Cole Beasley all looking like they will get a new contract at some point over the next two years it will be very difficult to keep paying Crawford the same amount of money for limited production.
Even role players like Damien Wilson, Randy Gregory, Geoff Swaim, Cameron Fleming, Kony Ealy, Rod Smith, and Deonte Thompson are set to become free agents by 2019 so a lot of focus should be having the most flexible cap situation possible.
If Crawford wants to stay on this team he is going to need to have a big season.