The Dallas Cowboys have quickly picked up their movement this offseason over the last few days. It began with the Cowboys finally committing to a long-term deal with star quarterback Dak Prescott. The front office has now freed up $17 million in salary-cap space behind a swift move.
Cowboys finally sign Dak Prescott to a new deal
Entering this offseason, the top of the docket for the Dallas Cowboys centered on Dak Prescott’s contract situation.
The Cowboys have finally resolved the lingering matter by committing to a four-year, $160 million deal with their star quarterback. Prescott’s contract includes $126 million guaranteed, a no-trade clause, and a league-record $66 million signing bonus.
It’s a significant commitment for the Cowboys, but it does come with some notable benefits. Prescott’s $22.2 million salary hit for the 2021 season is roughly $9 million less than the franchise tag he had last year.
Dallas is taking on a significant financial commitment to Prescott, but it’s a measured maneuver. The front office didn’t stop there as they worked out another substantial 2021 cap-saving move this offseason.
The Dallas Cowboys just found an astute method to free up $17 Million
Before Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys worked out a historic contract with Dak Prescott, the team was already in a tough salary cap position.
Shortly after the NFL announced the 2021 salary cap number at $182.5 million, ESPN‘s Adam Schefter reported that the Cowboys received a financial boost after freeing up roughly $17 million from restructuring the contract for offensive linemen Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins.
The moves came about after the team using the original contract that has written in them the ability to turn their upcoming base salary into a signing bonus. Beyond lessening the financial blow to the Cowboys’ salary cap, it allows them to spread out the bonus over the deal’s length or potentially add a year to the end of it.
At the same time, there is risk involved with the move as it can prolong a contract. It can also backload a deal for a player that may no longer worth that type of money at that point.
The Cowboys already had $25.4 million in salary-cap space that they didn’t use last year, which puts their adjusted cap to $207.9 million in 2021. Nonetheless, Dallas is taking a calculated risk involving the offensive line that only helps them navigate through this offseason.
More moves lie ahead in Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys are coming off a disappointing 2020 season that saw them fall well short of the playoffs.
Beyond securing Dak Prescott’s long-term future, the team has plenty of work ahead with their roster. Much of which lies with improving their defense that struggled mightily in 2020.
Several prominent defensive players may be available in free agency that can help improve their unit. The Cowboys struggled with injuries in their secondary, but adding veteran talent would be a boost.
Dallas needs a stronger pass rush presence, as they tallied only 31 total sacks. Given the team’s issues with injuries along the offensive line, additional talent may be near the top of the list.
The Cowboys may have some other moves ahead this offseason to clear up salary-cap space to help give them financial flexibility to improve the roster. Beyond that, Dallas will also use the draft to strengthen further these areas they hope to jump into Super Bowl contention next season.