The NFL’s 2023 salary cap is set at $224.8 million. The Dallas Cowboys are currently $7 million over the number, so they have some work to do between now and the start of the new league year to get under the cap.
Luckily, the NFL offers several loopholes for teams to navigate the salary cap. A whopping 15 other teams are over the cap. Six of those squads are $20 million or more over, and two — the Buccaneers and Saints, respectively — are $58 million and $63 million over the cap at the time of this writing.
If there’s silver lining to Jerry Jones refusing to go all-in for a Super Bowl, it’s that the Cowboys are seldom screwed from a cap perspective.
The new league year will be here before we know it — it’s already Super Bowl weekend for crying out loud — so let’s underline some cutthroat moves Jones and company should execute between now and then to save a chunk of cap.
These cutthroat moves would save Cowboys $45 million in cap space
3. Extend Dak Prescott ($23.868 million)
Prescott is signed through next season, and will make $31 million in 2023 (fully guaranteed). While a reasonable salary, the QB will account for a crippling $49.13 million cap hit. While Prescott has certainly been worth the price of admission, Dallas will be hard-pressed to spend big to improve the roster with Prescott accounting for that significant of a cap hit.
Only Deshaun Watson has a larger cap number for 2023.
With that in mind, the Cowboys should extend Prescott for however many years they desire, whether it be three, four, or even five. A Dak extension would save Dallas a whopping $23.868 million in cap room.
That’s easier said than done, but we’ve seen teams give players big signing bonus’ to knock down their base salary for the upcoming season. This would allow the front office the necessary wiggle room to play around with outside free agents, re-sign their own free agents, and extend homegrown core players.
The price tag for quarterbacks is only going to skyrocket with the Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, and (eventually) Trevor Lawrence dominos waiting to fall. Why night knock out two birds with one stone in terms of getting ahead of the market, while saving nearly $24 million in cap space?