Cowboys' cap space not what you think

IRVING, Texas -- According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Dallas Cowboys have $10,799,806 million in cap space as of June 2.

Only 10 teams have more: the Cleveland Browns ($25.53 million), Cincinnati Bengals ($24.506 million), Tennessee Titans ($19.595 million), Green Bay Packers ($13.958 million), Oakland Raiders ($13.387 million, Tampa Bay Buccaneers ($13.386 million), New Orleans Saints ($13.312 million), San Diego Chargers ($12.546 million), New York Jets ($11.053 million) and Pittsburgh Steelers ($10.947 million).

But as we’ve mentioned before, don’t get carried away with that figure.

That does not include the upcoming signings of Zack Martin and DeMarcus Lawrence, who figure to eat up about $1.6 million combined. It does not include the $1 million or so when the cap count goes from the top 51 players to the top 53. It doesn’t include another $1 million or so for the practice squad. It does not include the per-game roster bonuses the Cowboys have to keep space for on Henry Melton and Anthony Spencer. It does not include injury settlements with players hurt during camp. And teams like to keep an extra $2 million-$3 million around for emergency funds if they need to add players during the season.

The Cowboys would like to extend the contracts of Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith as soon as they can. Depending on the structure of those deals, that could create cap room or take some away. Smith is set to count $3.978 million against the cap. Bryant is set to count $3.898 million against the cap.

So that $10.799 million is really more like $2 million-$3 million of room.