The Dallas Cowboys created $7.2 million more in cap room by restructuring the contract of Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith on Monday.
This move lowers Smith’s 2016 base salary from $10 million to $1 million while adding $1.8 million to his cap number in each of the next four seasons (via ESPN.com).
It comes on the heels of the Cowboys doing the same with defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford earlier in the offseason.
In a less-than-stellar cap situation, Dallas has had to go bargain hunting in free agency thus far this month. Even after these two separate moves, the Cowboys find themselves just $14.1 million under the cap.
Their biggest free-agent signing thus far is former Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman Cedric Thornton, who signed a four-year, $17 million contract with the team last week.
While the market has dried up considerably after the first wave of signings, Dallas still possesses a ton of holes on both sides of the ball. By restructuring Smith’s contract, it could very well be players in the second wave of free agency.
With a cap hit of $20.8 million this upcoming season, the Cowboys might very well decide to restructure Tony Romo’s contract here in the not-so-distant future. In addition to this, starting corner Brandon Carr could be on the outs. He’s set to count $13.8 million against the cap in 2016.
Either way we put it, Dallas needs to do something in order to improve a roster that’s quickly falling behind the team’s division rivals in terms of talent. Maybe Smith’s restructure was the first step in doing just that.