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Could DE Tarell Basham be Another 2022 Cap Casualty?

While , , and are getting most of the attention as potential casualties this , is another player with some cap savings in his contract. How likely is it that the bring the pass rusher back in 2022?

Basham was a last year who filled a considerable role on without much fanfare. He played in all 17 games, starting six, and had the highest snap count of all Cowboys defensive linemen.

Much of that high usage came from absences by DeMarcus Lawrence and due to and COVID. But even when some of Tarell's snaps went down back to their rightful owners, he was giving value to the team as a rotation piece and on .

Basham led all defensive linemen with 39 tackles on the year. He finished fourth on the team in with 3.5, trailing only , Randy Gregory, and .

This all speaks to a valuable roleplayer, and Basham's $3 million cap hit in 2022 is commensurate with his contributions. If the Cowboys weren't in cap trouble then there would be little threat to Tarell's job this offseason, but unfortunately that's not where we are.

While not a high number compared to others, Basham's contract still offers $1.75 million in cap relief if he's released. In an offseason where every cap dollar counts, that's enough of a chunk to at least pull Basham's name into the conversation.

Helping Tarell's cause is that Gregory and Armstrong are , leaving just he, DeMarcus Lawrence, and as the only defensive ends of consequence from last year's team, Depending on what their offseason strategy is to retain or replace Dorance and Randy, the Cowboys may cling to Basham as an insurance policy for their 2022 depth.

Then again, if Dallas thinks they can fill his role with a rookie or a minimal free agent signing, Basham's could still clear about $1 million off the cap even after the cost of adding his replacement.

Because of the uncertainty with Gregory and Armstrong, Tarell will likely keep his spot during the early waves of roster moves. But depending on what and the draft bring, Dallas could eventually decide the cap space is more valuable than the player.

Like so many this offseason, Tarell Basham can't feel entirely secure about this future with the Cowboys. But with contributions in 2021 that went generally underrated, he's at least proven that he deserves to stay.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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Yeah, hard to move on from him with so many questions on the edge.

Is he really good? Nope. He’s serviceable. With DLaw fading and getting dinged up more and more often, they need solid depth at LDE.

Would love to see Gholston stay healthy and break out this season. But, he’s still a relative unknown. I do think he’s the future at LDE, though.

We really need RDE’s. Bringing back Armstrong would be nice for depth at RDE. Even with the lack of depth there, I’m still not keen on bringing back Randy Gregory, and especially not at the price he’s likely to get. We just can’t afford that, and he’s still too much of a knucklehead at times on the field.


fading? dinged up? Dlaw played 16 games in 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. He is hardly fading and he is the leader on the defense. i can understand Cooper especially if they resign Gallup, but Dlaw? hell no. taking 3 steps backwards. i don’t think the Cowboys are that short-sighted.

James Vargas

I believe D Lawrence will be released. Too much money tied to him. I believe cap space by releasing him is substantial.


My opinion is that Dak and Zeke should take a pay cut especially Zeke he hasn’t proven himself since that big contract signing. Dak is another question maybe he’ll come around this year but with Coop gone who’s going to get the ball. Jerry please stop destroying our Team.

Javier from Discovery Bay

How about ALL 5 top overpaid players take a pay cut. Specially the top 3. I know it’s a business, but show you are a true Cowboy. If not willing, then go play somewhere else !!

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