Cowboys have to spend some cash over next two years

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have long been known as one of the NFL's big spenders, but they will have to do more spending than most teams over the next two years to meet the mandated minimum cash spending floor by 2016.

According to NFL Players Association figures, the Cowboys are at 82.58 percent of their minimum average, spending $211,407,314 in cash in 2013 and 2014.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, each team has to be at 89 percent off minimum cash floor spending after 2016 or the league has to collectively be at 95 percent. If not then the difference must be paid to the NFLPA, which will give the money to current and former players who are on the smaller-spending rosters during that time.

In 2013, the Cowboys spent $127.9 million, according to NFLPA figures, and $83.5 million in 2014.

Because teams can make simple accounting changes to help with cap space, the union wanted to make sure more cash was getting in the players' hands, which prompted the minimum cash spending floor.

In order to reach the 89 percent minimum this year, the Cowboys would have to spend roughly $139.9 million in 2014.

Getting a long-term deal done with Dez Bryant -- or DeMarco Murray -- would go a long way in helping them get there. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the 53 players under contract currently have cash value of roughly $80.6 million.

Large signing bonuses to Bryant and/or Murray, would also count toward the minimum spending levels. The Cowboys can also re-work the contracts of players like Tyron Smith or Tony Romo and have that money count toward the minimum.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the Cowboys will be more than compliant by the deadline.

"It's a product of circumstance, that's all I'll say about it," Stephen Jones said last week from the NFL scouting combine.