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Mailbag: Avoid big contracts for roster balance?


In the salary cap era, at what point should or will teams take the risk and turn away from a quality player like Dak Prescott or Micah Parsons to avoid an unreasonable salary, which will in turn give them a better balance of players across the entire roster? – Randy Buffington/Glen Rock, PA

Patrik: Probably when that approach proves it can consistently win Super Bowls but, to now, that's rarely the case. There is obviously an outlier or two over the course of the salary cap era but, far more often than not, Super Bowls are won by superstars one either or both sides of the ball. There's also the fact that the salary cap also increases exponentially every year, barring a pandemic, and it's never as much about what percentage of a player is taking up the current cap as it is other factors — e.g., caliber of player, position, etc. that must be considered. Teams finesse the salary cap all of the time and have success (Rams, as one example) and then find ways to still be competitive once the larger contracts need to be massaged or let go. So instead of trying to spread the mustard evenly in a league when not every player is of equal value and every position carries different weight, my take is a simple one: become a master at managing the cap and prosper frequently.

Nick Harris: I think there are definitely discussions had around the league when it comes to those sorts of things. At what point does trade value supersede the need to keep a player around long-term for a hefty price? I also think it's certainly a discussion the Cowboys have either had or will have considering the impending contracts. Even if/when all three of Lamb, Parsons and Prescott get done, the front office will then need to evaluate extending DeMarcus Lawrence, Zack Martin, DaRon Bland, Jake Ferguson and others. I'm not sure if they can manage to keep all of them in Dallas, even if Martin follows through on his retirement thoughts.

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