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Report: Cowboys projected to be $31 million over next year's salary cap

The Cowboys are expected to be an astounding $31 million over next year's salary cap, leaving owner Jerry Jones with a potential "train wreck." (AP) The Cowboys are expected to be an astounding $31 million over next year's salary cap, leaving owner Jerry Jones with a potential "train wreck." (AP)

The Dallas Cowboys are projected to be at least $31 million over next year's salary cap, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reported Sunday. One NFL executive told Schefter that the Cowboys are facing a "train wreck" situation to get under the salary cap.

Schefter reported that Dallas' projected $31 million over the cap would be about $13 million more than the next-closest team, the New Orleans Saints.

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The Cowboys' situation is complicated by recent, high-priced extensions to quarterback Tony Romo, linebacker Sean Lee, tight end Jason Witten and wide receiver Miles Austin.

It's also compounded slightly by the Cowboys' receiving of $10 million in salary-cap penalties over this season and next. The NFL levied the penalties on the Cowboys and Washington Redskins earlier this season after the teams tried to gain an unfair competitive advantage from the way they front-loaded contracts during the uncapped season that preceded the NFL’s lockout. Both teams appealed the penalty, but their appeal was dismissed.

And the Cowboys' release last week of former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jay Ratliff doesn't help matters, either. He'll still cost the Cowboys $7 million in "dead money" next season.

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