Reality Check

They are the X and O guys of the cap and contract structures.

So at this point, with Monday's deadline looming to franchise players and tender restricted and exclusive rights tenders, the Cowboys currently have like $12.6 million in available cap space. Those exclusive tenders will eat up almost another $2 million, assuming they all are tendered. And then add $1.6 million to that for the projected restricted tender to fullback Tony Fiammetta.

And, if the Cowboys cannot or choose not to sign outside linebacker Anthony Spencer to a long-term extension and decide to franchise him, well that's another $8.8 million against the cap and a good reason why they indeed might franchise him to buy some extra time to continue negotiating a long-term deal while his rights are protected.

Now I'm told the Cowboys, if they so choose, can restructure a couple of contracts to create more cap room, like enough to take that $12.6 figure to roughly $20 million. That certainly would help – might be a necessity.

But even at that, they could not act as if a bunch of kids in a candy store, wanting not only one of each but the high end of each. Plus, you also must factor in necessities, like really needing to sign, even if it is re-signing one of your own, a backup quarterback, a safety, a guard, a receiver with some experience (Laurent Robinson?) and possibly either on-the-mend punter Mat McBriar or another one if they don't think last year's rookie fill-in Chris Jones is a suitable replacement.

That's a lot, and compared to some teams with $60 million of cap space available or like the Redskins with $47 million available, the Cowboys must do all this with relatively little.

If only that salary cap was just a figment of someone's imagination.

Darn it.

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