Cowboys value special teams in Jeff Heath's contract figures

The Cowboys showed their commitment to special teams when they signed safety Jeff Heath to a four-year contract last week. Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys saved $321,000 in 2016 salary-cap space by signing safety Jeff Heath to a four-year contract last week.

Heath was set to count $1.671 million against the cap as a restricted free agent. With the new deal, he will count $1.35 million.

Heath received a $1.8 million signing bonus as part of the deal and will make $900,000 in base salary. The base value of the deal is $7.671 million, and he can earn an extra $500,000 in 2018 and '19 through play-time incentives.

Heath’s base salaries are $1.471 million in 2017, $1.5 million in 2018 and $2 million in 2019.

Some ire was raised when the Cowboys signed Heath, but those are solid numbers for a core special-teams player and the play-time incentives in the final two years of the contract allow him to earn more should he see extra playing time defensively.

The Cowboys have made a commitment to their core special-teamers in re-signing Kyle Wilber and James Hanna earlier in free agency. Last year they signed punter Chris Jones to a four-year deal. In 2014, they signed kicker Dan Bailey to a seven-year deal.