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Thursday, January 26, 2012
Jerry Jones intends to use his salary-cap space

By Calvin Watkins

The salary cap is a fluid situation in the NFL.

The Cowboys have $12.6 million under the cap and that's before the team restructures any deals or cuts any of their current players. The team also has $28 million in dead money based on numerous players who were released last summer such as Leonard Davis, Marion Barber, Marc Colombo among others.

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Stephen Jones, the executive vice president, and his staff did a good job of creating cap space so the $28 million of dead money won't bother the Cowboys in terms of making moves when free agency starts in March.

"We've done an outstanding job. I give Stephen a lot of credit," Jerry Jones said. "This is a year we thought it would be Armageddon for us - this year. But we were able to do some things with the cap that gives us a chance to have some room to improve this team this year. And we will use it."

There are other moves the Cowboys can do, including triggers that turn the base salaries of Doug Free and Orlando Scandrick into signing bonus lowering their base salaries and saving the team about $8.6 million. When free agency starts the Cowboys could have nearly $20 million in cap space, enough to sign a highly-priced free agent such as New Orleans' guard Carl Nicks and a veteran backup quarterback.