Wonderful News! The Dallas Cowboys will have no salary cap casualties in 22

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Fear not Cowboys Nation, the situation with the Dallas Cowboys is not as doom and gloom as some may have you believe. With talk of cutting/trading Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence littering the landscape, let me put you at ease: The Dallas Cowboys will have no salary cap casualties in 2022.

I realize this will come as a shock to many. For weeks we’ve been hearing about the dire status of the Dallas Cowboys cap situation. We see they are approximately $21 million over the cap already and still need to account for their own 24 free agents, outside free agents, and incoming draft picks. And if you’ve been listening to recent statements from Captain Cap Manager, Stephen Jones, you’re probably looking at this bold statement of mine with a skeptical eye.

The reality is the Dallas Cowboys don’t NEED to cut anyone get under the salary cap so all potential cuts are purely voluntary

Calling someone a salary cap casualty implies there’s little-to-no choice in the matter – the salary cap has dictated someone must go. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The Cowboys can restructure a number of contracts with few long-term ramifications and easily get under the cap threshold.

As Tom Rye at BTB explained last month, the Dallas Cowboys can get well under the cap by just restructuring three deals to cornerstone players (none named Zeke). And while doing so commits to said players an additional year, it doesn’t have long-term economic consequences.

So this isn’t a matter of “kicking the can down the road” as some will have you believe. We’re not talking about personal finances where an unpaid bill today becomes a bigger bill tomorrow. Quite the contrary.

All potential wounds in the former of roster losses, are completely voluntary and in no way a sign of fiscal responsibility nor smart roster building

With the salary cap expected to rise significantly once the 2023 media deals kick in, a player costing, say, 7% of the cap today, drops to 5% of the cap tomorrow. It’s like having a loan with an interest rate below the rate of inflation. You’re actually making money by keeping it on the books. And in this instance, we get the service of some really good players an additional season.

We’re talking about a system that was designed to be massaged (a word Stephen Jones just used). It was built to look as restrictive as owners wanted it to look, and also be as malleable as GMs needed it to be.

Remember, owners created the cap – not for parity and fair competition – but for profit. They wanted a mechanism to convince fans they were doing all they can to build a team and the greedy players were the bad guys. They sold us on the idea the cap was zero sum and pie that must be divided. That’s simply not true.

"“There’s a bit of art, and there’s a little bit of science,” Vikings new GM and former Wall Street executive Adofo-Mensah said regarding the salary cap. “Honestly, that’s what drew me to this sport, and it’s why I think all of us love competing at the highest level.”"

The Super Bowl winning LA Rams are a shining example of what can be accomplished with a focused and goal driven architect. LA has gone all-in and has shown that’s not just a one year strategy and that can be re-implemented year after year.

No one has shown this example more than the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans has been creating something out of nothing for half a decade. Every year economically challenged analysts tell us this is the year the bill comes due for the Saints. Every year the Saints pull a rabbit out of a hat and “create the space.”

And those teams are in far worse situation than our beloved Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are sitting pretty compared to them. While the Saints and Rams will endure hard times eventually (mostly because of the missing draft picks and money going to players no longer contributing), the situation has not been as dire or as imminent as advertised for Dallas.

"“We could do some things that could allow us to keep most of our guys, if we wanted to push it all out, but we’ll have a much bigger problem the next year and the year after that,” Stephen Jones said."

Teams like the Vikings are hiring Wall Street executives because this extremely manageable situation is only limited by brainpower of the person managing it. For the Dallas Cowboys that person is Stephen Jones. If he says he’s up against the wall,  it’s only because of his own intellectual limitations…Or… his own desire to make money.

The Dallas Cowboys players who are facing the ax this year are still top-end contributors. They may be overpaid based on expectations and production, but they are still top-end players serving vital roles. The Rams/Saints comparison is really an enormous exaggeration.

It’s not necessary, prudent, or even fiscally responsible to cut good players on the Cowboys this year.

The only reason the Dallas Cowboys are letting players walk this offseason is because they want to. It’s not necessary, prudent, or even fiscally responsible to cut good players because said good players will need to be replaced. And those replacements are likely to offer a step back in on-the-field production (at least in the short-term) and come at the cost of a premium draft pick.

Just yesterday we ran our nightmare Scenario in our Cowboys 7-round mock draft nightmare edition. Things went poorly, not because bad players were picked, but rather because Dallas had to fill the holes of Amari Cooper and DeMarcus Lawrence with premium draft picks and were never able to actually upgrade the roster of last year’s edition.

The point is: All potential wounds in the former of roster losses, are completely voluntary and in no way a sign of fiscal responsibility nor proper cap management. If Amari and Tank get cut it’s because Stephen wants to save money, it’s not because the cap is demanding it in any way.

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If Stephen Jones decides to let go of players, it’s because he wants to, not because the salary cap dictates so. Keeping good players like Amari or Tank will not hurt the team in the long-run, even if they do fall slightly short of expectations.

  • Published on 03/07/2022 at 13:02 PM
  • Last updated at 03/07/2022 at 13:02 PM