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Will June 1st Mean Anything for the Dallas Cowboys in 2020?

Next Monday, June 1st, is one of the mile markers of the NFL offseason. It’s often when teams make some roster moves to clear salary cap space, creating some new options for other teams in free agency. Given where they are currently in 2020, will the Dallas Cowboys be involved at all in next week’s activity?

The key driver in June-1st cuts is whether or not the player has at least two years left on their current contract and offers significant cap relief. Instead of having to absorb the entire dead money hit in one season, his team can spread that out over two years.

For example, let’s look back to when the Cowboys released QB Tony Romo in 2017. Dallas still had $19.6 million in dead money on his contract at that time. They chose to make him a June 1st release to split that over two years and better manage the financial dead weight.

The move gave Dallas $9.9 million in additional cap space in 2017 but added $8.9 million in dead money charges to their 2018 cap. Some would argue that it’s “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” but spreading it over two years can be a smart move depending on your other needs each season.

Do the Cowboys have any players who make sense for this provision in 2020?

The only player who you could say makes sense for a potential June-1st release is Punter Chris Jones. His has a current cap hit of $2.4 million with $1 million in remaining dead money. Dallas could get back an additional $500k by releasing him next week and push $500k to the 2021 cap.

That sound like small potatoes, sure. But an additional $500k would help pay for one of the 2020 rookies. It’s not nothing.

Jones’ cap hit is high coming off a down year, but it would be a bargain if he can get back to his previous form. With no other punter prospects currently in house, Dallas appears to be banking on Chris to bounce back under John Fassel’s coaching and as he recovers from some nagging 2019 injuries.

Cowboys Place LT Tyron Smith On IR Before Week 17
Dallas Cowboys LT Tyron Smith

The only two big-money veterans whose contracts would offer major cap relief in 2020 are OT Tyron Smith and DL Tyrone Crawford. But at this point, neither appears likely to happen.

Dallas could get back $8.3 million if they released Tyron Smith now and $10 million if he’s cut on or after June 1st. But with a difference of just $1.7 million, the Cowboys would’ve already made that move if they needed the cap space this year. Then they could’ve used those funds during the major 2020 free agency period.

Of course, the Cowboys aren’t parting with their Pro Bowl offensive tackle. Thankfully, the team’s better management of the cap has made it so it’s not even a thought.

The real question is with Tyrone Crawford, but June 1st is meaningless for him as there’s only one year left on his deal. Whether he’s cut next week, late August, or three months ago, Crawford gives Dallas $9.1 million in cap relief.

Some are surprised that move hasn’t happened already. However, until the Cowboys know for sure what they have in Aldon Smith and Randy Gregory, Tyrone is the leading candidate to start at defensive end after Robert Quinn’s departure.

It could be that Dallas finally parts ways with Crawford as they form their 53-man roster for 2020. But they have no incentive to do it now.

Could anything happen next week that changes things? Could another team release a player that the Cowboys want, prompting them to cut Tyrone to help fund the contract?

It doesn’t seem likely. Honestly, Dallas probably needs Crawford as the insurance policy at DE more than they need help at most other positions.

So while June 1st could be a big day for a few players or teams throughout the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t be affected. With the exception of Dak Prescott‘s contract negotiations and signing their rookies, Dallas’ offseason business is likely done until training camp.

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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  1. Cut Crawford and If Prescott has not signed by then just let go or trade him ! Just play with backup quarterback till draft than pick a QB!To be picked by McCaffrey! Get trained by his staff!

  2. I believe that Crawford is jus a body now! If he dominates the offensive linemen in camp & pushes a UDRFA out the door; then keep him. I’m personally banking on Rondell! Recall that name! Future H.O.F!

  3. “With the exception of the Prescott negotiations….” Its becoming a travesty. Plain and simply, Prescott is NOT worthy of being the highest payed player in the NFL, simply because he is NOT the best QB, let alone the best PLAYER in the NFL. That is based on his performance on the field. He is a DISTRACTION! Don’t want to here about this “market setting” BS. He is NOT a marketing setting talent!

    Why he is hurting the TEAM? Because while other QBs are working out with their respective WRs, getting their timing down, this guy is working out with Dez Bryant. Dez Bryant? Preparation is key, even early on. New Coaches, shortened time frames, it all matters. Other teams are gearing up. We have an absentee “leader”.

    According to a report, a contract was IMMINENT early LAST YEAR. But after Prescott had three good games against slug teams, Giants, Redskins, Dolphins, to start the year, he and/or his agent got frisky and UPED their ludicrous demands. That DID NOT go over well will Jerry Jones. It takes a lot to tick off Jones. He is known for OVERPAYING his players. Then the next 13 games, he came back down to his “above average” talent level. His talent level was really evident in Pats (QBR-26) and second Eagles (QBR-37) games.

    Conclusion, he is now a SELF-CENTERED PROBLEM. PUBICLY, team says they are behind him NOW. That could easily change as this drags out even longer. Other players getting payed a small fraction of the reported number Prescott is TURNING DOWN. Wonder what they are really thinking and saying PRIVATELY.

    Deal will probably get done, but at what cost to the TEAM. Would love to see what Dalton can do with this VERY talented offense.

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