FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys have started their march to salary-cap compliance.
The Cowboys restructured the contracts of Dak Prescott and Zack Martin on Tuesday, creating more than $22 million in cap room, the team announced.
The Prescott move was already planned when the quarterback signed his big deal last year. The Cowboys added two voidable years to Martin's contract to allow them the chance to get more space this year. Prescott had a salary-cap figure of $34.45 million, and Martin's cap number was $20.191 million.
After placing a $10.9 million franchise tag on tight end Dalton Schultz, the Cowboys have to create more space to get under the cap by the start of the 2022 league year next week. They could look to restructure more contracts, release players or ask for pay cuts.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has already declined a pay cut, according to multiple sources, and the team is waiting to hear from tight end Blake Jarwin regarding a pay cut after he had major hip surgery last month.
Lawrence is set to make $19 million this season and count $27 million against the cap. With Randy Gregory and Dorance Armstrong set to test the market, the Cowboys do not have to make an immediate move with Lawrence.
While the amount of the pay cut offered to Lawrence is not known, when the Cowboys have offered pay cuts to players in the past, they have offered the chance for them to make back some of the money through incentives.
Last week, ESPN reported the Cowboys were "likely" to release wide receiver Amari Cooper and were "close" to re-signing wide receiver Michael Gallup.
Cutting or trading Cooper would free up $16 million in room against the cap and would need to be done before March 20 since his $20 million base salary in 2022 is fully guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year.
Gallup is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered late last season, but the Cowboys are hopeful he will be ready for game action in September. They have had productive talks with his agent regarding a long-term deal and are hopeful something could happen prior to the start of free agency.
Until the Cowboys have an agreement in place with Gallup, they are unlikely to move on from Cooper.