The Dallas Cowboys have a big situation this offseason. The Cowboys can only spend $19 million for their players this upcoming season. In the NFL, the National Football League, there is a rule regarding how much money teams can spend on their players. Every year the league increases the budget; this year the budget is $178 million.
The Cowboys will only have $19 million in the budget if all of their players follow their original contracts. $19 million seems like a lot of money for the year; however, there are two problems with this limitation. The first is one of their players for the defense: DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence just finished his last year in his rookie contract. Lawrence said that he wanted at least $17 million every year. The Cowboys can pay him that salary and use the rest of the budget for another person: but the second problem is that the Cowboys have to pay Dez Bryant $12 million dollars this year. As a result, the Cowboys have several options.
The Cowboys can put a franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence. The tag means that a football team can pay a player, in their final year of their contract, whatever salary the owner wants. The player with the tag cannot complain about the salary, but after the next season, that player can leave for another team if he cannot find a new deal with the original team. Another option is that Dez Bryant negotiates with the Cowboys to receive less than $12 million this year this season and get the rest the season after. The final option is that the Cowboys release one of their extraordinary players.
In an interview after the regular season, Bryant talked with the press and said that he would not take a pay cut. Stephen Jones, the vice president of the Cowboys, said that Dez should take a pay cut. Bryant finished the season with a bad performance. This season, Bryant had eight touchdowns and less than 900 yards in receptions. DeMarcus Lawrence just finished a marvelous season. The 3-year veteran had 14.5 sacks (when the defense tackles the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage).
If the Cowboys cannot find any solution minus cutting Bryant or Lawrence, they should review which of the two players would help the team. The Cowboys have a young defense and if Lawrence stays without getting hurt, he could have a successful season. The flaw of releasing Dez: when Bryant is not hurt, he has more than 1,000 yards in receptions and more than 12 touchdowns. The Cowboys have until the first of June to make a decision.