Cowboys may be restructuring Dak Prescott deal in order to clear cap space

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys
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As the Cowboys close in on a new deal for receiver Michael Gallup, there’s a potential source of cap space unrelated to dumping veteran contracts.

We’re hearing that the Cowboys are in the process of trying to restructure the four-year, $160 million contract signed last year by quarterback Dak Prescott. The easiest approach would be to convert a major chunk of his $20 million guaranteed salary for 2022 into a signing bonus, pushing many of those cap dollars into future years.

Of course, that will serve only to kick the cap can down the road. This year, he has a cap number of $34.45 million. Next year, it’s $45.45 million. In 2024, the last year of the deal, it’s $48.45 million.

A restructuring would drive up the numbers in 2023 and 2024, and it would add to the dead money due to hit the books in 2025, of $14.45 million.

When it comes to pushing cap dollars to future years, here’s the thing to remember. The cap will keep going up and up, especially with the pandemic in the rearview mirror, new TV deals kicking in, and gambling money constantly increasing. As the cap goes up, the relative impact of each cap dollar shrinks as it moves from one year to the next.

Thus, $1 million in cap charges now means less than $1 million will mean in 2023, and so on. With each passing year.

Regardless, the contract that Prescott signed in 2021 eventually will cost $160 million in total cap dollars. Eventually, another contract will take its place. And the dollars will go up. Because the cap will go up. Because, but for the unexpected hiccup brought about by having few fans in the 2020 season, it always does.

11 responses to “Cowboys may be restructuring Dak Prescott deal in order to clear cap space

  1. They will be repeating this restructuring stuff for years. Terrible contract for a mediocre QB. Jerrah sure messed this up with his QB and coach mistakes.

  2. This is a weird post, in that it acts as if this move would be a surprise. Prescott’s original contract included two void years to reach six seasons (four normal plus two empty void years) for cap purposes. NFL rules only allow a signing bonus’s value to be spread over five seasons, so his initial bonus money was spread only through five years. The obvious implication is that the contract was set up to easily be ready to go for a restructure of Prescott’s 2022 base salary – in other words, this was the plan all along. And the reason for the plan is because 2021 and 2022 were understood to be the seasons most impacted by the pandemic-reduced salary cap. Teams had to “find” tens of millions of dollars of more cap space than they had any reason to budget for, and so most of them are doing lots of restructures like this. Once the cap catches back up to where it would have been, teams will more easily absorb shifted money, and all will be back to normal again. In other words, this has been anticipated since the details of the contract first came out!

  3. For once, Jerry’s “kick the can down the road” plan is actually the right play…

  4. touchback6 says:
    March 7, 2022 at 12:33 pm
    “restructure” aka cap hell


    Wait till your precious Mac Jones is due his second contract…
    Cap hell for Pats in your eyes

  5. Sounds like buyers remorse. They love to overpay players. No wonder they can’t succeed.

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