Running back DeMarco Murray has left the Cowboys for the Eagles. Owner Jerry Jones has blamed it on the salary cap.
“We have great appreciation for his skills, and if there was no salary cap in place, DeMarco would be a Cowboy,” Jones said in a statement issued by the team. “This came down to an allocation of dollars within the management of the salary cap.”
That’s a obvious explanation, but the Cowboys could have found a way to keep Murray if they really wanted to. They didn’t think he deserved a $42 million contract over five years with $21 million guaranteed because they think that, dollar for dollar, they can get better performance from someone much cheaper.
“Obviously there is emotion involved in these decisions, but it is critical that there be must be discipline involved as well,” Jones said. “If it were a question of having an open checkbook with no salary cap constraints, we all know things would have worked out differently.”
That part is 100 percent accurate. With no cap, Jones would spend millions upon millions in an effort to build a championship team. While many believe it would throw the NFL’s competitive balance out of whack, it would be interesting to see how groups of hungry, underpaid players would compete with collections of superstars in the ultimate team sport.
“We have recently made significant commitments to top players who are currently on the team, specifically at key positions such as quarterback, left tackle and wide receiver, and we were comfortable with the offer that we made to DeMarco to include him in that structure,” Jones explained.
The statement from Jones strongly implies that the team will have a hard time fitting another big-money tailback within that structure, which would seem to take the Cowboys out of play for Adrian Peterson, if the Vikings are willing to trade him.