RBs still set pace for Cowboys’ offense when it comes to cap spending

The Dallas Cowboys are entering the 2023 NFL season with a fair amount of cap space. After the initial roster was set on Tuesday, the regular season rules of cap calculations went into effect. All 53 players who made the club are fully counted, and players who had guaranteed money in their deals but were cut now appear on the dead money ledger. Dallas enters Week 1 of the season with $7.7 million in space, the ninth-most in the NFL.

This gives them several options they can employ. For one, they have the ability to offer extensions to current players who have low cap hits. They also can swing in-season trades or free-agent signings should holes in the armor appear either through attrition or lack of performance. Finally, the can also just hold onto the money and roll it over into the 2024 cap.

Buy Cowboys Tickets

For now, though, here’s a look at the breakdown of what they are spending on player on the offense for this coming year. We’ve ranked the positional spending according to where Dallas is in comparison to the other NFL teams, and also a breakdown of each player at the position.

All figures are from OverTheCap and are approximates unless specifically specific.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Tony Pollard: $10.1 million
Rico Dowdle: $1 million
Deuce Vaughn: $783,000
Hunter Luepke: $757,000

Ronald Jones (susp): $989,000
Malik Davis (PS-dead $): $216,000

(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Dak Prescott: $26.8 million
Cooper Rush: $2.125 million
Trey Lance: $940,000

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

CeeDee Lamb: $4.5 million
Brandin Cooks: $6 million
Michael Gallup: $6.8 million
Jalen Tolbert: $1.2 million
Kavontae Turpin: $870,000
Jalen Brooks: $770,000
David Durden (IR): $453,000
Jalen Moreno-Cropper (PS): $216,000
Tyron Johnson (PS): $371,000

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Schoonmaker: $1.1 million
Jake Ferguson: $1.05 million
Peyton Hendershot: $875,000
John Stephens (IR): $451,000
Sean McKeon (PS): $371,000
Princeton Fant (PS): $216,000

* Over The Cap lists Dallas as 32nd at $3.65 million but the individual tally shows the above number and ranking.

(AP Photo/Rich Schultz)

Zack Martin: $11.75 million
Tyron Smith: $8 million
Terence Steele: $4.3 million*
Tyler Biadasz: $2.9 million
Tyler Smith: $3 million
Chuma Edoga: $940,000
Asim Richards: 811,245
TJ Bass: $753,333
Sean Harlow (PS): $371,000
Brock Hoffman (PS): $216,000
Alex Taylor (PS): $216,000
Earl Bostick Jr (PS): $216,000
Josh Ball (IR): $1.1 million
Matt Waletzko (IR): $555,873

*The breakdown of Steele’s extension has not been publicized, so the impact on his 2023 cap hit is still unknown.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys’ total money spent on offensive positions in 2023 is $104 million. That ranks just outside the top-10 at No. 12. This season is the first time since 2020 Dallas has been outside of the top-two in offensive spending, and the first time since 2018 (23rd) they’ve been outside the top 10.

Over the last 10 seasons, Dallas has ranked first or second in cap space spent on offense three times (2016 – No. 1, 2021 – No. 2, 2022 – No. 2). Ranking 23rd is the lowest they’ve ever been, which they hit twice (2014, 2018).

2014: 23rd
2015: 20th
2016: 1st
2017: 14th
2018: 23rd
2019: 9th
2020: 8th
2021: 2nd
2022: 2nd
2023: 12th

Average: 11th

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys aren’t the only NFC East team in the top half of the league in offensive spending. The Giants check in at $98 million (16th). Meanwhile the Commanders are 22nd at $92.8 million and the defending division champs are 29th at $86.8 million.

The secret? Dallas is the only of the four clubs who has a quarterback years into a second contract. Both Daniel Jones and Jalen Hurts are on new deals signed this offseason, so the cap hit is relatively low for the game’s most expensive position. Washington’s backup QB Jacoby Brissett is on the books for $8.5 million while the starter Sam Howell doesn’t even pass $1 million.

Meanwhile the rest of the top scoring offenses around the league are ranked as follows in 2023:

  1. Kansas City – 496 pts (1st – $125 million)
  2. Philadelphia – 477 pts (29th – $87 million)
  3. Dallas – 467 pts (12th – $104 million)
  4. Buffalo Bills – 455 pts (9th – $108 million)
  5. Detroit Lions – 453 pts (4th – $120 million)
  6. San Francisco 49ers – 450 pts (18th – $96 million)
  7. Minnesota Vikings – 424 pts (28th – $88 million)
  8. Cincinnati Bengals – 418 pts (8th – $110 million)
  9. Seattle Seahawks – 407 pts (26th – $90 million)
  10. Jacksonville Jaguars – 404 pts (7th – $110 million)

Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

While the Cowboys have plenty of cap room to use, a bunch of it is currently taken up by contracts of players no longer on the team. Dead money occurs when a player has bonus money allocated into future years but they end up off the roster.

When taken as a snapshot, it’s bad to use current-year cap space in this way, but that’s short sighted. The actual money was paid out in previous seasons and the reason it’s dead money on this year’s cap is because the team had extra cap space in previous years despite still writing the check back then.

Other times, dead money includes guys who are released and then signed back to the practice squad.

OL La’el Collins: $8.2 million
RB Ezekiel Ellott: $5.8 million
TE Blake Jarwin: $236,000
OL Earl Bostick: $207,000
OL Chuma Edoga: $153,000
WR Jalen Moreno-Cropper: $143,000

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: