With the Dallas Cowboys projected to be $9.6M over the salary cap in 2023, according to Spotrac, the team may have to get creative to give itself some breathing room to sign free agents and its incoming draft class.
One solution includes reworking quarterback Dak Prescott’s contract, which according to ESPN’s Todd Archer, would free up approximately $22M next season.
“[The Cowboys] would add four to five years to the deal, pay him a huge signing bonus and knock down his 2023 base salary, allowing them to do whatever they would want,” Archer recently wrote. “Technically, instead of extending Prescott, they could restructure his contract again and free up about $22M in room but be left with a ton of dead money in 2025 after his contract expires.”
Prescott is due $31M in guaranteed money next season with a cap hit of $49.1M. Should the Cowboys take Archer’s suggestion, they would add a few void years onto Prescott’s deal, convert most of his money into a signing bonus, and free up enough money in 2023 to be players in free agency.
Of course, Prescott’s contract isn’t the only one that could be redone to free up funds.
Offensive tackle Tyron Smith, who has a $17.6M cap hit in 2023, and running back Ezekiel Elliott, who has a $16.7M cap hit in 2023, could also be asked to restructure their deals.
Tight end Dalton Schultz, running back Tony Pollard, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, linebacker Anthony Barr, and safety Donovan Wilson are among the Cowboys top unrestricted free agents.