FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys have in a sense "kicked the can'' on a portion of All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith's contract, adding a year to the deal in order to create about $7 million of present-day cap space.
But there are two wrinkles that make it more acceptable than the old much-criticized "kick-the-can'' strategy.
One, the $7 million of cap space gained can certainly be applied to the "present-day,'' meaning 2020 - though the Cowboys indicate there is no imminent move there. More key: Any cap space not used this year (when Dallas arguably doesn't need it) can carryover to 2021 (when Dallas figures to need it in its retention of QB Dak Prescott).
Two, the stretching of Smith's deal adds a year (2024) - but it's a "voidable year.'' There may be about $2 million of dead money to deal with in that season, but that's a small price to pay when one considers how tiny a slice of the salary-cap pie will be then (the cap will explode following the creation of a new TV deal following 2022) compared to the value of having $7 million more in room available in 2021 ... when COVID-19 issues indicate a lack of revenue that Cowboys sources say will at best keep the cap flat (at about $198.2 million, as it is this year).
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There can be speculation about what the Cowboys could do with the money before it's needed for Prescott, who of course is playing on the $31.409 million tag this year, will cost $37.7 million to tag next year, and is the target of the Cowboys in terms of a long-team deal.
So the converting of $8.9 million of base salary into signing bonus (as noted by NFL Network) can be construed as offering some faith in the career of Tyron Smith. And it can be a in-case-of-emergency weapon now. But most of all, it's for Dak Prescott ... to the Dallas Cowboys a very justifiable reason to "kick a little can.''