NFL may gift Cowboys newfound cap space before crucial offseason

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys have turned the page following their humiliating wild card loss to the Green Bay Packers. The hire of Mike Zimmer as defensive coordinator has helped a deflated fan base look ahead to the 2024 season. Now, the Cowboys must focus on becoming cap-compliant this offseason.

Free agency is just weeks away and the Cowboys are some $21 million over the cap. They're reportedly inclined to get Dak Prescott's extension done before then. That will help them get under the cap, but it won't give them the required wiggle room to re-sign other players, let alone their own free agents.

We're still waiting for the Cowboys to make their first cap-crunching move. The cap casualty frenzy admittedly hasn't started and Dallas will likely be involved. That will help the cause, but the NFL itself could propel Jerry Jones to finally write multiple blank checks in free agency.

After initial projections had the 2024 salary cap at $242 million, new reports indicate the number could climb as high as $250 million.

Cowboys may have newfound cap space to use in 2024 offseason

"Closer to $250 million" is open for interpretation. Assuming it falls in the range of $247-250 million, though, the Cowboys would have at minimum $5 million more cap space to work with. That would put them $16 million over the cap. If the cap were to jump all the way to $250 million, they'd be just $13 million over the cap.

Say Prescott's extension gets done before free agency. That would save Dallas a whopping $26.23 million on the cap. All of a sudden you're talking about the Cowboys being $13 million under the cap in one fell swoop without accounting for other extensions, the potential release of players and contract restructures.

Even if the final number is $247 million, the point remains: The extra money could be life-changing for the Cowboys as they build their roster for next season. They can already free up as much as $50 million by manipulating the cap with various moves. Imagine the waves they could make with the added help.

That's not to say they should spend like a drunken sailor, but the newfound funds could allow for three more cost-effective signings in free agency. If nothing else, it gives them more flexibility and that's huge news for a front office that has typically operated on the conservative side during the offseason.

If this report comes to fruition, Jerry Jones will have nowhere left to hide after his "all-in" promise following the team's wild card loss.

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