The Dallas Cowboys head into this month's NFL Draft with almost all of their 2018 cap space depleted. They may need to open up a little more room following the draft to be able to sign all of their rookies. Could that lead to a few more salary cap casualties?
Current projections have Dallas with just about $1.9 million in available cap space. That figure doesn't include whatever they're paying the newly-signed DE Kony Ealy.
The Cowboys have 10 picks in this year's draft, with a projected total amount of about $7 million needed to sign them all. Of course, the number of picks may go down after trades. But even if Dallas bundles picks to trade up, salaries also increase with higher slotted picks.
The good news is that there shouldn't be any big deficit. During the offseason, a team's available cap space is based on the Top 51 salaries they have on the books. That means players #52-90 don't count against your spending power.
Right now, the players at the bottom of Dallas' Top 51 count about $550k against the cap. In their rookie years, even last year's second and third-round picks (Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis) only had roughly $780k and $650k cap hits. That's a fairly negligible net difference.
If the Cowboys draft 19th overall as currently slotted, that player should have a first-year salary of a little over $2 million. That, plus all the other small overages, does mean Dallas may need to make a move to free up enough space to get everyone signed.
Don't worry, Dez Bryant fans; we're not coming for your boy.
Dallas won't need to do anything that extreme to free up room. Their easiest move would be to cut tight end James Hanna for $2.75 million in savings. That should cover everything needed to get their rookies signed before training camp.
And if the Cowboys draft a new TE, Hanna would be even more expendable.
Another possibility is to make defensive end Tyrone Crawford a June-1st cut. That would give the team $3.1 million in relief. Again, depending on what happens in the draft, Crawford may not be needed.
Ideally, none of these moves would be necessary. Dallas will free up cap space by reaching long-term deals with guard Zack Martin or DE DeMarcus Lawrence. They could potentially free up well over $10 million in space by bringing them down from their team option and franchise tag cap hits with new contracts.
That is likely the team's current strategy, and why they haven't had to pull the trigger on anything with Dez Bryant's contract. It looks like Dallas will be able to conduct all of their remaining offseason business without any major cap casualties.
Unless, of course, they're still interested in trading for a certain All-Pro safety from Seattle. Depending on what happens in the draft, that move could become more attractive.
If the Cowboys still have a big move in mind, before or after the draft, cap casualties will likely be necessary. Stay tuned.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
REPORT: Cowboys Negotiating Trade with Dolphins for DE Robert Quinn
According to a report just minutes ago, the Dallas Cowboys are visiting with Miami Dolphins' Defensive End Robert Quinn today as part of a possible trade. Miami is looking for a trade partner to try to get something back for Quinn before making him a salary cap casualty.
Quinn is in the final year of his contract and is set to count $12.9 million against the Dolphins' salary cap. Most of that is his base salary of $11.8 million, which Miami is reportedly willing to pay part of to help facilitate a trade.
Robert Quinn was spotted today on his way to visit the #Cowboys, who are in trade talks with the #Dolphins for the veteran DE, sources say. Quinn would need to agree to any deal. So, this is another step in the process, with a Dallas team that obviously needs pass rush.
The Cowboys need DE help with DeMarcus Lawrence's contract still unresolved and Randy Gregory now indefinitely suspended for another drug policy violation. They signed Kerry Hyder from the Lions yesterday, but he isn't a proven commodity like Quinn.
Turning 29 in May, Robert Quinn is a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick of the Rams. He hasn't had the same production in recent years but still had 6.5 sacks for Miami in 2018 and 8.5 the prior year with Los Angeles.
Ever the bargain shoppers these days, Dallas is probably hoping to get Quinn for late-round draft pick or perhaps a pick swap.
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