With so many contracts being restructured, it helps the team this year, but how does it impact the Cowboys next year? Will they be in the same boat and this cycle continues? Also, how does it impact the Cowboys from possibly signing Dez Bryant and/or Tyron Smith for the future?
Rowan: I don't think the Cowboys will make any moves that'll make it impossible for them to re-sign Bryant and Smith. I think that's definitely on the agenda. But the Cowboys' management has made no qualms about it – it's going to be tough for them to get comfortable with the cap for a while. I expect they'll be able to extend out the contracts of their most important players, but it'll be tricky from year to year for the team until the cap goes up significantly. As the restructures continue, so too do the future hits to the cap.
David: Rowan's last point is the important part – the restructures increase future cap hits, which helps explain how DeMarcus Ware's contract situation got to where it is in the first place. The Cowboys can fix that little by little, though, with decisions like potentially reducing Ware's salary or possibly cutting Miles Austin in the coming weeks. But you've heard it straight from the horse's mouth from both Jerry and Stephen Jones: the salary cap is going to be an issue for them for the foreseeable future. I don't think that affects Bryant's or Smith's situations too much, however, thanks to contract tactics like backloaded deals and incentive bonuses, etc.
DeMarcus Ware's contract being what it is, do you think his contract should be structured somewhere along the lines of Sean Lee's? If he stays healthy he gets more, in bonus money. If not, he still makes a ridiculous amount of money and helps the team out some.
Rowan:I do think Ware's contract should be cut down and built in with a lot of incentives. In those terms, it could be similar to Lee's. But otherwise not so much. Lee's contract keeps him in Dallas through 2019, when Ware will be [embedded_ad] celebrating his 37th birthday. Ware and his agent have to be realistic about what they'll get from other teams when considering what to do for 2014.
David: If Ware agrees to take a pay cut, that's probably how it has to happen. I'm no front office guru, but I would imagine if the Cowboys are going to try to reduce his salary, it would have to come with the option to earn some of that back. Ware's play last year isn't deserving of his current salary, but his potential to rebound and his outstanding resume merit more consideration than if he was just some guy off the street.