IRVING, Texas – As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, the Cowboys will be docked $10 million in salary cap space that can be spread out over the next two years for the structures of deals in the 2010 uncapped season.
According to sources in Schefter’s report, “the Cowboys and Redskins took immediate cap hits during the 2010 season that normally would have been spread out over the length of the contracts, giving them an advantage that other NFL owners found unfair.”
The Cowboys signed wide receiver Miles Austin to a six-year extension worth $54 million and paid him a $17 million base salary, which worked within the rules of an uncapped season. In a capped season, players are normally given large signing bonuses that are prorated over the course of the contract to come up with a salary-cap charge.
As part of the original deal, Austin was to receive a 2011 base salary of $8.5 million. The Cowboys created salary-cap room prior to last season by lowering Austin’s base to $685,000 and turning $7.855 million into signing bonus, which is a common practice by teams across the league.
The Cowboys did not sign a high-priced free agent of note in 2010 and the only veterans that were released prior to that season were left tackle Flozell Adams and safety Ken Hamlin.