Dec. 4, 2011; Glendale, AZ, USA; Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones (left) reacts alongside owner Jerry Jones prior to the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboy’s Cap Chaos

After a staggering amount of contract restructuring, the Cowboy’s seem to have gotten themselves within spitting distance of the salary cap.  This past week has seen the restructure of contracts for Witten, Ware, Austin, Carr, Cook, and Livings.  According to ESPN, Dallas has stated the intention to rework a dozen contracts, currently putting us at the halfway mark.  For Cowboy’s fans, this raises a lot of questions.

First of all, provided we can successfully renegotiate the additional 6 contracts, exactly how far under the cap will that put us?  Will we have the necessary space to address last year’s shortcomings?  Do we absolutely know for sure what those shortcomings were?

Obviously we need to focus on the front line on both sides of the ball, but we also have a serious depth issue virtually everywhere but quarterback.  How do we address all of these concerns? 

The truth is…we can’t.  This is the time of year when you have to combine glaring need with gut instinct.  

I think we need to grab a new running back to compliment DeMarco Murray, who has had his share of injury problems.  I would also like us to find a suitable replacement for Lawrence Vickers, as he was not near as effective as Tony Fiammetta the year before. 

Mike Jenkins is most likely gone before the season starts, so where does that put us in the event of injury to Carr or Claiborne?  While we are on subject of secondary, wouldn’t we also all be more comfortable adding another safety? 

We have amazing talent at linebacker, but the position was devastated by injury last season.  Do we need to add depth there as well?  How do we address concerns about our injury prone receivers?

I’m sure you get my point by now.  You can have pro bowl talent in nearly every position, but that doesn’t matter if they aren’t on the field come December.  

Making matters worse is the new CBA, which I have stated time and time again, takes a lot of the conditioning out of the hands of the coaches and places it directly on the individual player.  This is where addressing the upcoming season’s needs can become a virtual crapshoot.

Another issue is where all this restructuring leaves us in future seasons.  All this money has to be paid eventually, and restructuring often just pushes back when we will take the hit.  This could potentially mean putting all our eggs in a 2013 or 2014 basket, and crippling ourselves further down the road. 

When put that way, one has to worry if we aren’t overdoing it a little.  Another way to address the cap problem would be to release the overpaid and underperforming players outright, rather than hang on to them at the detriment of future seasons.

Join me next week, when we will discuss what players should be released and why…

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Salary Cap

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