I was doing some football reading today and one of the articles I read was about the Cowboys. As you can imagine, their fans aren't very happy about Green Bay's epic come from behind victory against them (with Matt Flynn as their QB no less). I would certainly hate that too, but that's not the worst of it. I've read that Jerry Jones is a terrible owner and I knew vaguely that their cap situation in 2014 was pretty bad, but I really had no idea how bad.
The Cowboys cap situation in 2014 is epically, horribly, bad. Over the Cap states that they've got 49 players signed and they're currently at $136,368,574 in spending. That may not seem so bad as it's "only" $10 million over their cap, but the problem goes deeper than that. They've got to sign their new draft picks, which costs another $5 million as well, so in reality they're looking at $15 million in cuts or renegotiations.
That's pretty bad, but it get worse. Because of the way Jerry Jones has structured contracts there are only a few people on their team that they can cut without costing themselves more money.
The most amount of savings they can get from cutting players are in the following order:
(From Over the Cap)
2. Jermey Parnell $1,500,000
3. Phil Costa $1,500,000
4.Mackenzy Bernadeau $1,425,832
5. Dez Bryant $1,250,000
6. Justin Durant $1,250,000
7. Bruce Carter $1,036,991
8. Kyle Orton $995,000
9. DeMarco Murray $780,469
10. George Selvie $730,000
For a total of $17.16 million in cap savings by cutting these guys. The downside of cutting these guys? It's two- fold.
First, even if you cut them, you're going to need to replace them. At the league minimum of $405,000 a year for an undrafted free agent, the cost is $4.05 million dollars to replace these 10. Presuming all their draft picks are positions that they've cut, they still need an additional 7 players. To replace those players at league minimum it would cost 2,835,000. That means they would still be $700,000 over the cap. That means they would have to cut 3 additional veterans who are currently making league minimum and replace them with rookies.
Second, the above 10 players have dead money of $17.9 million dollars. So the hits are going to continue like severe body blows for the years after.
Mind you, this isn't the most in depth analysis. Over the Cap is generally pretty accurate but isn't always dead on and I don't know what escalators or deescalators are in their players contracts, nor do I know what contracts will be renegotiated (though there's very, very little that can be done).
What is absolutely clear though is that the Cowboys are screwed and it was Jerry Jones that did this to them. They may end up being the worst team in NFL history next year.
Edit: I did the above "analysis" and made a pretty large mistake. I didn't include the $11.7 million in dead money that the team has. Whereas before I thought the Cowboys were in a bad position, it is impossible for the team to get under the cap without renegotiating contracts. As in, literally impossible - they could not cut their way out of it. Does anyone know what happens when a team goes over the cap?