Cleaning up some Cowboys' cap issues

March, 17, 2014
Mar 17
11:15
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – As the Dallas Cowboys ponder what to do with Henry Melton, Jared Allen and Brandon Weeden, let's clean up some salary-cap issues.

First the good news: Well, for Tony Romo and Sean Lee it's good news.

Romo and Lee will receive $5 million payments on their deferred signing bonus money this week. Romo received a $25 million signing bonus last year as part of his six-year, $106 million extension. Lee received a $10 million signing bonus last summer as part of a six-year, $42 million extension.

Now the bad news:

With last week's decision to designate Miles Austin a post-June 1 cut, the Cowboys created $5.5 million in salary-cap room in 2014 but they do not get the credit until June. Most of that money will go to their draft picks. But that move also created $5.105 million in dead money against the 2015 salary cap.

The Cowboys are also looking at $3.98 million in 2015 in dead money once the final two years of Doug Free's deal voids. There will be another $2.254 million in dead money once Kyle Orton's deal expires. The Cowboys could look to extend Free's contract this year, which could keep that nearly $4 million off the books.

And now some good news again:

One way to look at the release of DeMarcus Ware, which opened up $7.4 million in space this year, is that it created $17.5 million in cap room in 2015 because he is off the books.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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