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Saturday, March 24, 2012
Cowboys say they'll fight cap penalty

By Dan Graziano

It's been nearly two weeks since the NFL slapped the Dallas Cowboys with a $10 million salary-cap penalty and the Washington Redskins with a $36 million salary-cap penalty for violations of amorphous spending guidelines during the supposedly uncapped 2010 season. The league has said nothing about it publicly, and the Redskins have made a little bit of noise about disagreeing with the penalty and planning to fight it. On Friday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones told the Dallas Morning News that he plans to fight it, too:
"We will and have expressed that we don't agree with that," Jones said Friday at the Hilton Anatole, where the AWARE luncheon, a fundraiser for Alzheimer's disease, was taking place. "What we're doing is a combination procedural and legal and all of that"

Jones added that the Cowboys are "talking with not only the league but the Redskins and whoever we can visit about it....The Cowboys are resisting that to say the least and don't agree with that and how it was figured. I guess the Redskins feel the same way. We're trying to work through that"

Obviously, it remains to be seen whether the Cowboys and Redskins can get any satisfaction on this. They could file an antitrust action against the league and their fellow owners, who engaged in what would be deemed collusion in any other business by agreeing to limit spending in a year that had no salary cap. But that's unlikely, since they ultimately need to maintain some sort of relationship with the league and their fellow owners. Jones, for example, may want another Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium at some point in the future.

They won't get help from the players' union, because as we reported here on March 12 (before anyone else did), the punishments were the result of a negotiated settlement to which the union agreed when the league threatened to lower this year's salary cap.

There has been some talk that the Cowboys and Redskins could take this to arbitration, and I think it's possible that could happen and the penalty could get reduced. This is the kind of thing that could pick up steam next week at the league's annual meetings in Palm Beach, Fla.

But at this point, I think we've heard enough from the Cowboys and the Redskins about how unhappy they are with this situation and that they plan to fight it. They should be unhappy, and they should fight it. But if all they're going to do is say they're going to fight it, that's going to get pretty uninteresting pretty quickly. If they're going to take any action, I think it's about time they did so.