3 easy cuts Cowboys can make to save $15 million

Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Amari Cooper, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /
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The Dallas Cowboys are $22 million over the salary cap. It’s a mess, but one that everyone should’ve seen coming.

That’s largely why the 2021 season was tabbed as “Super Bowl or Bust”. While the young core of Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs and CeeDee Lamb will remain intact, the front office was always going to be hard-pressed to keep the team’s entire collection of talent together.

Sure, restructuring contracts is an ideal shortcut to shed salary, but cutthroat decisions will have to be made if the Cowboys stand any chance at getting under the cap in time to make moves in free agency.

That’s exactly why you’re seeing so much discourse about Dallas potentially cutting one of DeMarcus Lawrence or Amari Cooper. Releasing both players would save a combined $24 million, but who wants that?

So, with two weeks separating the start of the new league year, let’s highlight three easy cuts the Cowboys can make to save $15 million.

These 3 cuts can save the Cowboys $15 million

3. Greg Zuerlein

When it comes to kickers, I have a pretty simplistic method when it comes to judging whether they deserve a spot on the Cowboys. How much confidence do you have when they’re lined up to kick a field goal?

With Zuerlein, my confidence is nowhere to be found. Whether it be a 48-yarder in the waning moments of the first half or a 35-yard chip shot in the fourth quarter, I never knew whether the former sixth-round pick would drill it down the middle of the upright or shank it 15 yards to either side of the goal posts.

That’s not what you want from your kicker. And speaking of sixth-round picks, it’s about time Dallas invests a late-round draft choice on a college star.

They might be extreme examples, but look at Evan McPherson, Daniel Carson and Tyler Bass. They’re already three of the best kickers in the game and they were all taken in either the fifth or sixth rounds.

Don’t get led astray by Zuerlein’s numbers. He’s missed some big kicks over his two years in Dallas, and cutting him would save the organization nearly $2.5 million. At this point, every penny matters and Zuerlein hasn’t really done much to warrant a spot on the 2022 roster, despite being under contract.