Tyron Smith's contract may be half the size last year's No. 9 pick received.
After all, they haven't been consistent in the draft for a long while, so it's a positive that less risk will be involved there. And Dallas has always been an attractive destination for free agents anyway. Now with a little more capital freed up, perhaps the Cowboys can be more active on the open market in the years to come.
It'll be tough for them to do much in 2011, though, and in all likelihood they'll need to restructure a few contracts and release a few players just to get under the cap. But just think, the fact Smith's contract will be smaller could mean the difference in keeping a Gerald Sensabaugh or Stephen Bowen. Maybe it means they won't have to sever ties with a Leonard Davis to do so.
And with a veteran like Davis lining up next to Smith as opposed to, perhaps, a fellow rookie such as fourth-rounder David Arkin, maybe Smith will pick things up faster in training camp. Before long he could be well on his way to a second contract, the big one, by the time he's 25.
Do we know that Davis is coming back? No. But it's an example of how increased financial flexibility - thanks to teams wasting less money on slugs like Russell - could lead to more efficient spending, more complete rosters, more competitive teams and a league that enjoys even greater parity.
More parity equals more TV viewers, ticket and jersey sales, and thus more money flowing in, which grows the pie, as Jerry Jones has put it. So in a decade, when it's time to do the next CBA, this $9 billion industry could have grown to $20 billion per year, and the players' take, even if it is less than 50 percent of total revenue, should be much greater.
And everybody wins.