The Cowboys don’t have much cap space left for 2013, if it’s true that they’re thinking about trading for a running back. They have even less available for 2014.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Cowboys are projected to be $31 million over the 2014 salary cap, following the release of defensive lineman Jay Ratliff.
While it’s often easy via simple restructurings to create cap space, those dollars simply get kicked down the road, creating cap issues in future years. At some point, teams need to bite the bullet and dump players and cap obligations.
The Steelers, for example, have been pushing cap dollars to future years in recent seasons. At some point, the day of reckoning will arrive. (Based on the team’s current performance, some would say it already has.)
The Cowboys aren’t likely to part with players deemed critical to the annual unsuccessful effort to scratch and claw for a playoff berth. Anyone no longer deemed to be part of the long-term plans, however, could be gone — especially if the Cowboys hope to extend receiver Dez Bryant before he completes his rookie contract next season.