How much will the Dallas Cowboys pay DeMarcus Lawrence?

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: DeMarcus Lawrence
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: DeMarcus Lawrence /
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Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images /

America’s Team is in foreign territory when it comes to the 2019 salary cap. Big D’s fans are accustomed to the Cowboys needing to amortize the coming seasons contracts against future seasons just to meet the top 51 new NFL year salary cap.

According to Spotrac, the Cowboys have about $130 million devoted to 45 contracts for next season. This would suggest they will have nearly $65 million, including $9 million rollover from this season, cap space when the 2019 League year starts.

Another factoid I learned reading Levine’s post is that the NFL’s Monday Night Football contract will expire in 2021 (ESPN) and Sunday games in 2022 (CBS, Fox and NBC). When looking at the value of the ESPN contract compared to the three Sunday networks, it is very likely that the NFL will see a negative adjustment in their Monday Night Football revenue.

ESPN is projected to pay slightly more than $2 billion in 2020 for one game a week while the three Sunday networks are paying $3.4 billion combined for four broadcast slots.

ESPN has been further disadvantaged with game choice with no opportunity for Sunday flex, has no Super Bowl broadcasting right and only one Wildcard playoff game privilege. This doesn’t even consider the turmoil that has occurred at ESPN over the last few years with talent layoffs and scandals.

The reason for declining television viewership is still an ongoing debate and not something I will speculate, but it is clear that fewer people are watching NFL games on broadcast television.

When the four main television contracts renew in 2019 and 2020, the NFL may see a reduction in television revenue. If so, could the salary cap drop for only the second time in history around the 2022 season?

Why is this relevant? The term for Lawrence’s contract, if he follows the lead with a six-year term, will extend past this timeline. Also, he will be signing his next contract for his age 27 season.