After being a rumored $31 million over the salary cap entering the 2014 offseason, the Dallas Cowboys are now under the NFL mandated salary cap limit as of Friday. This news was confirmed by dallascowboys.com staff writer, Rowan Kavnar, via Twitter:
“Cowboys cut Phil Costa, renegotiated Mackenzy Bernadeau contract to put them under the cap”
In order to get under the cap by the NFL’s March 11th deadline, Dallas also had to restructure contracts for quarterback Tony Romo, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Sean Lee. All three received contract extensions just last season. They also released defensive end Everett Brown, guard Ray Dominquez, defensive tackle Corey Irvin and tackle Jeff Olson late last month.
The Cowboys were also aided by the NFL itself in getting under the cap in time. The league raised this year’s salary cap limit nearly $10 million, from $123 million in 2012 to an approximate $133 million. This allowed Dallas to make less changes to their roster in order to reach the cap limit. For other teams, it gives them more room to sign free agents, including their own.
Although Dallas has avoided this particular obstacle, they are far from financial solvency. The biggest issue in the forefront is defensive end DeMarcus Ware. The perennial Pro Bowler is expected to make $26 million combined in the next two seasons. And the soon-to-be 32 year old is coming off the worst statical season in his nine-year career.
It was revealed this week per a league source that the Cowboys have reached out to Ware and want him on the team this season…just not at his current salary. There has been no further news from either side concerning the subject so far. Per NFL.com’s Ian Rapaport via Twitter on Friday:
“An update on the #Cowboys and pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware, who was asked to take a pay cut: Holding pattern. Nothing new #notmuchofanupdate”
On top of the Ware situation, the Cowboys will also need to address the expiring contracts of three of it’s youngest stars: wide receiver Dez Bryant, tackle Tyron Smith and running back DeMarco Murray. Although Dallas is currently under the cap, there are still many financial issues for them to address in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.