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Mailbag: How Dez Deal Affects Salary Cap; Rest Sean Lee Some?

BOBBY BERMEAPORTLAND, OR

Fabulous news with Dez Bryant's deal, of course. What does $70 million with $45 million guaranteed and a $20 million signing bonus mean for the salary cap?

Bryan:This is the deal that the Cowboys' front office needed before they issued the franchise tag back in March. If they somehow had been able to work things out then they would have been able to make the Tony Romo contract a two-year deal instead of having to move money around, which would have helped the club even more in the big picture. With this current deal that Bryant signed, they should be about $7 million to the good for future needs.

Rob: It means for 2015 they've actually created a few million in cap room. The Cowboys budgeted for Bryant's $12.8 million franchise tag, but now he's expected to count $7 million this year ($3 million base salary and $4 million proration of his signing bonus). I got this question, too, so wanted to clarify: The Dez deal wasn't needed to fit Greg Hardy's dollars under the cap now that the pass rusher's suspension has been reduced to four games and he stands to earn more per-game roster bonuses.

CHRIS SOTOLUBBOCK, TX

Would it be smart to approach Sean Lee the same as the Cowboys handled Romo last year? So it may be smart to allow him to rest more the week before the game. It would also allow some of the younger guys to get more reps.

Bryan:I understand what you are asking here, which is a fair point, but Sean Lee needs to practice and play -- period. Putting him on the sidelines is something that we have seen far too many times during his career, so trying to protect him for games is the wrong approach. He needs the work.  

Rob: Agree with Bryan, but I get your thinking from a wear and tear standpoint. The Cowboys had a sound plan for easing Lee back into full participation in the offseason. Lee said the knee is now 100 percent, though, so I would think once he's full go he will pretty much stay that way. It was a different situation with Romo last season at 34 years old and in the months following the back surgery not yet able to regain the full strength and power he was accustomed to year to year.

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