The Dallas Cowboys and Owner Jerry Jones have some big checks to write in the next six to 12 months with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Robert Quinn, Byron Jones, Michael Bennett, Anthony Brown, Randall Cobb, and Maliek Collins set to hit free agency. Throw in a name that the Dallas Cowboys could pursue via trade such as Jamal Adams of the New York Jets and 2020 has the potential to see a lot of money thrown around.
Per Todd Archer of ESPN, teams were notified yesterday by the NFL that the 2020 salary cap is expected to increase to anywhere from $196.8 million to $201.2 million. That would be an estimated growth of the salary cap of $8 to $13 million from the 2019 salary cap.
Based on those projections, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to have $82 to $87 million in cap space per OverTheCap.com. Per Over The Cap, the Cowboys are projected to have the fifth most salary cap space in the NFL behind the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Buffalo Bills. Even if the cap grows to the minimum end of the projection, that $8 million difference could effectively be the year one cap hit for any of the long-term deals they expect to sign this offseason.
A lot of where the 2020 salary cap lands will depend on the revenue brought in by the league in 2019 and could still be affected by a new collective bargaining agreement. The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire in 2021, but the NFL owners and the NFL Player's Association have already begun talks to reach an agreement on a new CBA with the hopes of avoiding a stoppage in 2021.
Though there has been much gnashing of teeth over the potential extensions of Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, and Byron Jones, it's evident the Dallas Cowboys will be able to make deals happen for the players they want to keep. With Prescott and Cooper, they've made it quite clear that they want to retain the services of two of their top offensive weapons for the long-term. While they'd like to bring Jones back, it'll likely take the cornerback taking a bit of a discount compared to what he could get on the open market in order to stay. A discounted deal for Jones shouldn't be considered out of the question as we saw Linebacker Jaylon Smith and Right Tackle La'el Collins take less money in order to stay with the Cowboys.
Whatever else the Cowboys front office decides to do with their own players or in free agency won't be affected much by the salary cap. They'll have enough space to get the deals done with their own players that they want while still having enough to dip their toes into the free agent market.
This offseason should be full of excitement as the Cowboys and several of their stars look to reach agreements on deals that should keep them in Dallas for years to come. Over the years, the salary cap has increased roughly $10 million a year and at the same time, the Dallas Cowboys have grown in their ability to manage the cap with discipline and creativity. With the ability to restructure deals and release players, the Cowboys can create even more cap space than what the projected number looks like today.
The Dallas Cowboys have been great managing their salary cap over the last few years, especially as they've drafted well and filled this team with inexpensive depth. This offseason, the Cowboys won't have any limitations to who they want to spend their money on.