Why Does Franchise-Tag Money Matter To Cowboys?

Dallas isn't tagging anybody this year. So ... Why Does Franchise-Tag Money Matter To Cowboys? Answers inside.

The NFL Players Association confirmed on Monday that the 2016 salary cap is set at $155.27 million, a number that continues to balloon each year. There are no surprises here; read CowboysHQ.com's coverage of the Dallas Cowboys and the cap and you already know that.

But the advancement of the story is this: that number being set also allows the final numbers for franchise and transition tags to be set. And here they are ... with a teasing question: Why does any of this matter to Dallas?

FRANCHISE TAG NUMBERS

Cornerback

$13,952,000

Defensive End

$15,701,000

Defensive Tackle

$13,615,000

Linebacker

$14,129,000

Offensive Lineman

13,706,000

Punter/Kicker

$4,572,000

Quarterback

$19,953,000

Running Back

$11,789,000

Safety

$10,806,000

Tight End

$9,118,000

Wide Receiver

$14,599,000

 
TRANSITION TAG NUMBERS

Cornerback

$11,913,000

Defensive End

$12,734,000

Defensive Tackle

$10,875,000

Linebacker

$11,925,000

Offensive Lineman

$11,902,000

Punter/Kicker

$4,123,000

Quarterback

$17,696,000

Running Back

$9,647,000

Safety

$9,116,000

Tight End

$7,713,000

Wide Receiver

$12,268,000

All well and good. But Dallas isn't going to use these tools this year. So what difference do the tag numbers make?

            

Our man Fish points out the following on 105.3 The Fan:

1. Do the Cowboys like a safety like Kansas City’s Eric Berry? (They do.) How much might that cost? Well, it might cost $10.806 million to start.
2. Do the Cowboys like a pass-rusher like Miami’s Olivier Vernon? (They do.) How much might that cost? Well, it might cost $15.701 million to start.
3. Do the Cowboys like seeing their NFC East foes getting painted into financial corners? (Not “cap hell,’’ just “cap corners’’?) Yes, they do, so they look on as Washington preps to tag and pay semi-proven QB Kirk Cousins almost $20 million to start … the sort of tough decision a team can make due to the rising cap number but must make within the framework of the franchise-tag numbers.
And we could add a "4": As you see in the above video, NFL teams are trying to figure out how much to spend on running backs -- the Cowboys included. That tag number of almost $12 million? That's outer space for runners. But what is the right number? And which team will set the bar (too high)?

As Fish likes to say, "1,000 links in the chain'' -- even in a financial chain that on the surface would seem to have nothing to do with the Cowboys ... but does.


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