The Dallas Cowboys have one of the NFL's most publicized salary cap problems in 2021 thanks to the free agency of franchise QB Dak Prescott. While the team definitely has hurdles to overcome, thankfully they will be getting a big chunk of assistance through the league's provision for cap space to roll over from the previous season. The Cowboys will be getting about $27.5 million added to their salary cap in 2021; third-highhttps://twitter.com/fieldyates/status/1367613973013667843?s=21est among all NFL teams.
The NFL has yet to release the final 2021 salary cap number, though the current projection right now is $180 million. If that holds true then Dallas will have a total salary cap of about $209.5 million for the upcoming season.
Only the Cleveland Browns ($29.4m) and the New York Jets ($28.1m) are receiving higher adjustments to their caps than the Cowboys. This is a huge difference from some other franchises who are only getting $1-4 million in rollover cap space.
The NFL has finalized its club adjustments/carryover for the 2021 league year. The amount for each team is added to league wide salary cap and serves as each team's adjusted cap #.
E.g.: if the cap is set at $180M, the Browns will have a league-high adjusted cap of $209,409,691. pic.twitter.com/m7Shr9eX01
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 4, 2021
This sounds lovely on the surface for the Cowboys, and sure it's better than the alternative, but it doesn't solve all of Dallas' cap woes. In fact it still leaves the team in a rough spot with its current contractual obligations and Dak Prescott not yet accounted for..
Even with this help Dallas still has a projected $178.6 million in cap usage for 2021. Based on the projected cap that would give them roughly $31 million in space for the offseason.
But again, Dak Prescott isn't part of these calculations.
If franchise-tagged again Prescott would count over $37 million against the 2021 cap. This is why a second franchise tag is an absolute last resort for the Cowboys; it would severely handicap their offseason activity and likely force a few cap casualties or restructures that they'd rather not do.
If Prescott gets a long-term deal then it gives Dallas far more flexibility, like the Chiefs had with Pat Mahomes' mega contract, to get other business done in the first few seasons.
We will dive much deeper into cap talk when we have the finalized numbers to work with. For now, this is just a reality check that Dallas' huge addition of rollover cap space isn't as sexy it sounds. It will certainly help the Cowboys this offseason, but the Prescott contract still looms large and will dictate how much the team can really do to improve in 2021.