After a disappointing season last year, Cowboys will look to get back on track in 2018. The goal will be, like always, a place in the postseason. For this to happen, they will need to make changes and shifts on their roster. To move talent in and out of the team they will need money, and there isn’t always sufficient funds to do all the things a franchise want. One of the deals which will put Cowboys front office in a corner is the contract of Tyrone Crawford.
Crawford isn’t one of the top defenders in Cowboys team, but he’s a guy that hit their cap hardest in 2017. Next year he will strike them once again with his $9.1 million against the cap. The only player who will receive more is linebacker Sean Lee with $11 million. If you look at his salary, he seems like a perfect candidate for release. But, if you scratch the surface you will see why this will be harder than it looks.
From football side, he should be released as he was overshadowed last season by DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irvin. But form financial standpoint it won’t be an easy decision. Here’s why.
In the past, his contract was restructured. So, if they release him straight away in free agency, Dallas Cowboys will keep only $1.8 million. Crawford has $7.3 million in dead money on his contract. To save this little on a solid player like Tyrone wouldn’t be a smart move. He can play both on the inside and outside in Cowboys 4-3 system. In the locker-room, he is a leader and veteran presence for Dallas franchise young secondary.
Now, if they wait until June 1st for his release, they would save $6 million in 2018, while in 2019 they would have $4.2 million in dead money. As much as this sounds like something Cowboys should do, they won’t be able to use these saved $6 million in March. That money could be put in use in June, after his release. The money could be transferred to rookie contracts, or in resigning Lawrence and Irving. Also, it could be used for signing other players who get released in June. Another option is to save that money for next year, but Cowboys would lose a good player in the process.
Tyrone Crawford might not be worth $9.1 million, but his replacement will also require a fat paycheck. So, as much Cowboys might get something here, they have also something to lose.
Luckily for them, if they opt for releasing him, they have good defensive players on their roster. Irving and Lawrence will most likely return, and there is Maliek Collins, Taco Charlton, and Charles Tapper. Benson Mayowa still has one year of his contract, but he will probably get released. Young players on the team include Richard Ash and Lewis Neal, and there is also 2018 NFL Draft where Cowboys might draft Crawford’s replacement.
If not for his restructured deal, Crawford would be released. This way America’s Team have to choose between losing money, or a good player. The way it seems now, they cant win unless other franchises are willing to trade for Crawford. And currently, there are none.