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Is Cowboys CB Anthony Brown a Potential Salary Cap Casualty?

The Dallas could be forced into some tough decisions with certain members in the coming weeks. With a reduced salary cap in 2021 and a huge financial issue to deal with at , players who might not normally be at risk could become vulnerable if the team has to create cap space. Veteran Cornerback Anthony Brown is one player who might be targeted.

Brown, a former 6th-round pick, did enough during his first four seasons to earn a new three-year, $15 million contract from the Cowboys in 2020. While never a star, Anthony has been a solid depth option who can play on the outside or in the slot.

That value could be especially important in 2021 as Dallas has and both heading into . This leaves Brown and as the only corners of consequence currently signed to the roster for next season.

Given this potential personnel shortage we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion in a typical . But the Cowboys’ potential salary cap woes in 2021 have called more things into question than usual.

Brown is scheduled to count $5.75 million against Dallas’ cap this year. There is $3 million in dead money left on the deal, so the Cowboys would get back $2.75 million in cap space if he’s released outright. The savings increase to $4.25 million if he’s a June-1st cut.

That June-1st amount is a sizeable chunk for a player who only appeared on 48% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. Though Brown could have a larger role in 2021 if Awuzie and Lewis both leave, could the Cowboys be forced to choose the cap space over the player?

Remember, June-1st cuts don’t prove their cap space until that calendar date. Cutting Brown would be about providing additional funds to pay or to help sign the 2021 class to contracts.

I’m focusing on the June 1st provision because I don’t see Dallas cutting Anthony Brown outright. The $2.75 million isn’t enough incentive to lose a solid cornerback in a year when you may need him badly. It would cost that much, if not more, to replace him.

However, let’s say Dallas winds up using their 1st-round pick on or . If that rookie and Trevon Diggs form the new starting tandem, the Cowboys could look to find a cheaper option for the CB3 position and make Brown a cap casualty.

If Dallas does make a move on Brown it likely won’t come until after the draft, or perhaps not even until the actual June 1st date. They probably need to see how the rest of the offseason plays out before they can really assess his expendability.

This leaves Anthony Brown, like so many more NFL players in 2021 than in the past, in a precarious position this offseason.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by 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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One Comment

  1. A decision on cutting Anthony Brown has to be made before March 21. His contract has a base salary in 2021 of $4.25M, currently not guaranteed. However, a key aspect is that $1.75M of the base salary guarantees on the 5th league day of 2021, March 21, according to Spoctrac. The Cowboys have to decide before the draft.

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