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Cap strap fever

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Irving, Tx -

With 28 of the NFL's 32 teams already starting work on next year, no team finds itself more over the projected salary cap than the Dallas Cowboys.  The hard reality for the team is, despite the up-side of spending in an effort to win, the NFL is set up to make sure spending alone does not equate to winning.  The even harder reality is the fact that for all the money the Cowboys spend, they have finished each of the last three seasons at 8-8.. and have just one playoff win in 17 years.

After giving Tony Romo a 100-million dollar deal, his number against the salary cap is going to skyrocket next season.. At some point in the near future, expect to hear about Romo, who is coming off back surgery, and some other players restructuring their deals which will not mean giving money back, but will mean something like taking salary and turning it in to a signing bonus so it can be pro-rated over the length of the contract.

Tony Romo's "salary" jumps from 1.5 million to 13.5 million and his cap number jumps to almost 22-million dollars.  The salary cap was tentatively agreed to be just over 126-million, but will probably rise a bit once it's finalized in the next several weeks.  Regardless of what it is, the cowboys will be more than 20-million dollars over, which means a lot of things will have to happen.  Romo and Sean Lee are expected to restructure and get the team more than 13-million in savings.. But doing that with DeMarcus Ware in the past has committed money to him down the road that the team will still owe long after his effective playing days are done.  The team already has more than 17-million in what's called "dead money."  The more it adds to that, the more difficult it will be to release players in the future.

Paying now or paying later will be part of what the cowboys will have to decide as they work their way toward a number that is going to be hard to meet.

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