IRVING, Texas --With reports surfacing that the Cowboys will lose as much as $10 million in salary cap space for front-loading money during the 2010 uncapped year, keep in mind the club always had the option of restructuring some current contracts and possibly cutting current players to make extra room for filling multiple needs in free agency.
Estimations were the Cowboys had more than $12 million in cap space to begin with. Linebacker Anthony Spencer's $8.8 million franchise tag and fullback Tony Fiammetta's expected $1.26 million restricted tender alone would significantly eat into that.
But the option of reworking deals of players like Dez Bryant, Doug Free, Orlando Scandrick and DeMarcus Ware, as well as designating Terence Newman a June 1 cut, is why you've seen estimations of more than $20 million to play with beginning Tuesday. Not saying all of these moves will happen, but some could.
That projected $20 million certainly drops even if the club decided to spread out the reported $10 million penalty over two years to say, $5 million in 2012 and then $5 million in 2013. But there still would seem to be enough to cap space to make some competitive moves in the free agent market -- even if their plans are altered a bit.
It's hard to believe the Cowboys didn't have any inclination that Monday's news was coming, and all along they've sounded confident they could get some things done this spring. We'll see.