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Mailbag: Bohanna's Future? Zeke's Cap Hit?


I haven't heard much since the start of the season about Quinton Bohanna. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the draft. What does Dan Quinn say about the big guy in the middle? – MITCH BAUMAN / BILOXI, MS

David: I think Quinton fell victim to the NFL Draft Hype Machine a little bit. He has a very specific body type, and the Cowboys haven't had many massive, space-eating defensive tackles in recent memory. But he was still a sixth-round pick, and it was probably unrealistic to think he'd step in and star straight away. Even Jay Ratliff didn't become a regular starter until his third season in the league. As is the case with all young players, it will be interesting to see if he can develop enough to grab a larger role in Year 2.

Nick: This is just my opinion alone and never heard anyone on the staff say this, but I wonder if he lost too much weight. I'm sure the coaches and strength coaches would scoff at that, but when he was at Kentucky, they listed him at 357 pounds. When he was drafted, he'd already gotten down to the 330 range, where he played all of last year. Who knows, maybe the weight loss is what get him drafted in the first place. I'm not saying he's not big enough but clearly – 6-4, 327 is plenty big to play in the NFL. But he wasn't the same space-eating tackle we had seen in college. I like his potential and think he's one of the second-year guys who can make the biggest leap into Year 2.

Could we do a better job of getting a cap hit down by paying Zeke a signing bonus? He is scheduled to make $18 million next year and I don't know what his cap hit is. Or should his contract be restructured due to injury? I believe he is a underrated blocking back but are we overpaying for our beloved running back? – CARL DORSEY / BUFFALO, TX

David: These are the decisions the front office has to weigh. They can absolutely re-structure Zeke's contract, giving him more money up front and reducing his current cap hit. But by doing so, they push some of his guarantees into future years – which would make him harder to move on from in the future. It's the delicate balancing act of deciding how much you need cap space right now, versus how badly you might want to get away from a contract in future years. Personally, I wouldn't touch Zeke's money, because I'd prefer to have the flexibility in the future.

Nick: I'm not a cap expert at all, but I think if they did something like turn his guaranteed salary ($12.4M) into a bonus, they could stretch that over the next four years and somewhat lower his cap hit this year. It really doesn't help the overall plan but if the Cowboys were to do something like the Rams did and just try to load up to win right now, then it would make sense. That's just not a plan the Cowboys have been willing to do in the past and I doubt it changes this year.

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