The moves created roughly $11.6 million in space, dropping Ware’s cap number from $11.348 million to $5.988 million and Austin’s from $8.54 million to $2.256 million. The Cowboys will likely restructure the contract of quarterback Tony Romo in the future and that could create as much as $5.46 million.
Earlier in camp executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys will use the $3 million exception granted to every team under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. Players with five or more years of experience who make more than $1 million are eligible for the exception, so the likely candidates would be Jason Witten, Jay Ratliff and possibly Andre Gurode.
Teams will be able to carry over a credit of sorts to the 2012 cap based on how much they are under the cap in 2011. For the Cowboys that means they would be able to chew up some of the dead money created when they cut Marion Barber, Roy Williams, Leonard Davis and Marc Colombo before camp began.
With the reworked contracts, Austin's and Ware's cap numbers in future years will increase by $1.15 million and $1.571 million each year, respectively.