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Mailbag: Salary Cap Situation Compared To Rivals?


You have mentioned the Cowboys' limited cap space on many occasions. But I only hear of one or two teams around the league described as having abundant cap space. In terms of cap space, are the Cowboys more limited than other teams, about average? It would seem that if they have more space than their division rivals, at least, maybe there is an advantage there? — PETER MALLIRIS / EUGENE, OR

David: Honestly, they're in pretty decent shape when it comes to the cap, with an estimate of about $25 million in space. The problem is that they have to do something about Dak Prescott. Obviously, if they sign him to a long-term extension, they can spread his money over several years and reduce the cap number. But if they wind up tagging him again, that's essentially going to eat up $38 million of space, just for one player. That's not as scary as it sounds, because they can free up much more money with restructures and releases. But there's no way around it: if they have to carry Dak on the tag, it's going to hinder what else they can afford.

Jonny: You make a good counterpoint to the cap space fear. The Eagles, in particular, are going to be in a real crunch in terms of adding, or even maintaining talent in the offseason. But I wouldn't exactly call it an advantage. An advantage would be having decent cap space without a bunch of needs to be addressed in order to contend. The Cowboys could outsmart some other teams that are in similarly tricky spots, but I'm not sure what evidence suggests they are likely to do that.

How would you feel about Gerald McCoy possibly signing again with the Cowboys? He was a big signing last offseason and if he has one or two years left in the tank, then he could be a big help in the middle. He would also be a big influence on young players like Neville Gallimore. — MARK AUGUSTINE / BAKERSFIELD, CA

David: From the sounds of it, he already did a heck of a job mentoring Neville Gallimore from afar last season. He's absolutely a high character guy, and a natural leader. I'd love to have him back. The question is all about health and longevity. He's about to turn 33, and he tore his quad in August. If his rehab has gone well and he's on track to play in 2021, I'd happily bring him back.

Jonny: If he's healthy, I think it'd be great. McCoy was legitimately a great player, and all accounts point towards him offering something of value as a teammate and veteran mentor. I just think that the Cowboys' defensive needs are even more dire than last year and their cap space will be even more limited. A year ago, McCoy as the team's most significant defensive addition still allowed for a measure of hope that the team would contend. I think it's safe to say that won't be the case this year. I don't think it's a bad idea. I just think there's plenty more to figure out.

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