More starts can earn Matt Cassel more cash

IRVING, Texas – If Matt Cassel starts the final five games of the Dallas Cowboys’ season, he could make an extra $1.2 million in incentives.

As part of a reworked deal with the Buffalo Bills before he was traded to the Cowboys, Cassel can earn up to $2.15 million in incentives in addition to his $2 million base salary.

He has played in 40 percent of the snaps so far this season (290 of 727) and could project to up to 55% over the rest of the season that would earn him an extra $1.2 million.

Cassel will earn $400,000 for 35% of the snaps and $800,000 for 45% of the snaps. He could earn $1.6 million for 65% and $2 million for 75%. If Cassel can reach 60% of the snaps and play in 60% of the snaps of a playoff game, he would earn an extra $150,000.

First things first with Cassel: He needs to win a game. He went 0-4 in his first run as Tony Romoo’s replacement. He starts his second run Monday against Washington. In five games, Cassel has completed 87 of 138 passes for 902 yards with five touchdown passes and five interceptions so far this season.

The Cowboys are keeping Romo on the active roster for the time being while the playoffs remain a possibility.

In order to get there the 3-8 Cowboys almost have to run the table to finish 8-8. If that happens, would they take out Cassel for Romo for a wild-card game?

In 1991, Steve Beuerlein won the Cowboys’ final four games with Troy Aikman out with a knee injury and started both of the team’s playoff games with Aikman healthy.

The Cowboys would love to have such a worry this season.

Of course, if things don’t go well, they might want to give Kellen Moore a look at quarterback. It would save them on Cassel’s incentives and allow them to carry over more salary-cap space in 2016.