Cowboys Contract Update: Tyron + DeMarco
What the Dallas Cowboys did with Dez Bryant (the non-exclusive tag and a $12.8-mil placeholder) and what they did with Cole Beasley (a deal with a $2-mil cap hit in 2015) brings their Top-51 number to to $144.1 million. Now we work to fit the Doug Free contract into the equation, which features a Dallas cap of $148 million (because of $5 mil of 2014 carryover) ...
And it looks tight.
So the Cowboys prepare to un-tighten.
That's not happening yet, at all, with talks involving DeMarco Murray. There is a lot of bull being shoveled here by folks outside of Valley Ranch; one outlet actually reports "several league sources (say) DeMarco is returning to the Cowboys.''
This would be news to Cowboys executives, who have no intention of being the market-setters on Murray. (Nor are they at all influenced by the huge-money deals being given Shady McCoy and others. McCoy and the Bills have agreed on a five-year deal featuring $26.5 mil total guaranteed ... or somewhere in the ballpark of the Jamaal Charles-level that Murray was already seeking in Dallas).
The lessons have been learned here and the parameters are being observed. In fact, our sources tell us not only are the Cowboys and Murray not negotiating a "done deal'' ... but that as of Sunday morning they hadn't even visited at all on the matter.
No, this is a time to find money, not to blow it. (Watch Jacksonville attempt to lead the charge for whatever $9-mil-a-year market DeMarco might find, with the Colts eyeballing the same idea. And by the way: If the Jags offer that to Murray, consider the possibility that they won't allow him shop it back to Valley Ranch -- not that it'll make any difference there, anyway.)
You find it if you get Dez done by cap-compliant day, Tuesday. By then, you can change that $12.8 mil hold to, say, $5.4 mil by giving Bryant a "Cowboys For Life'' long-term deal.
Infinitely more doable -- because it's built this way -- is the room a Tyron Smith trigger-flip will create. Smith signed a huge extension in 2014, but those in the know think that Dallas did well for itself in the construction of the deal. Smith’s “bargain” signing bonus of $10 million is allocated over five years at just $2 mil per year. Smith's 2015 base salary is a little over $11 mil, with each of the next six years being at just $10 mil in base salary. Restructuring Smith to the league-minimum could net Dallas another $8 million in cap space.
And a move like that is on the front burner.
Dallas can do something similar with Tony Romo's contract, and might. There is also savings to be had depending on whether Brandon Carr accepts a slice.
It's the DeMarco negotiations -- you know, the ones that aren't happening in Dallas right now -- that will get the headlines. It's the Tyron Smith-level moves that will get the Cowboys the necessary room to keep shopping.
*We mock-draft all seven rounds for the Cowboys ... and come up with some doozies.
*The Cowboys let us in on Doug Free's done deal.
*Dallas Cowboys fans get the Premium goods: What the Cowboys say privately about Greg Hardy. We're hearing more and more that Dallas might be a "second-wave'' buyer in free agency. ... which makes ideas like Hardy and Trent Cole more difficult. We also break the story on Stephen Paea, too, though ... and some inside Valley Ranch see this as doable.
*We separate the fact from the fiction with DeMarco Murray. '
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