3 easy cuts Cowboys can make to save $15 million
By Jerry Trotta
1. DeMarcus Lawrence
Unless they exploit some major loopholes in the salary cap, it feels like the Cowboys are going to have to choose between keeping DeMarcus Lawrence or Amari Cooper this offseason. As much as the front office would like to see both stars return, they’re on the books for a combined $39 million in 2022.
In this exercise, Dallas keeps Cooper, its No. 1 receiver who was paramount in expediting Dak Prescott’s rise to stardom after he arrived in 2018.
Truth be told, this decision isn’t about Cooper being more important than Lawrence. It’s more so preferring a defensive end rotation of Randy Gregory, assuming he’s re-signed, and a potential stud drafted in the first round than a wide receiver corps of Michael Gallup, CeeDee Lamb and Cedrick Wilson.
If you’ve been reading up on the latest mocks, almost all of them have Dallas taking a pass rusher at No. 24 overall. The 2022 edge rusher class might not have any generational talents, but it’s loaded with Day 1 starters and future Pro Bowlers.
At the end of the day, the Cowboys are going to take a loss regardless of whether they cut Cooper or Lawrence.
If the Cowboys make Lawrence a post-June 1 cut, they’ll save $19 million with just $8 million in dead money. If they cut him before June 1, they’ll save $8 million with $19 million (!) in dead money on the books for 2022.
Cutting Lawrence won’t be easy, but re-signing Gregory and drafting the best edge rusher available in the first round will lessen the blow.