Report: Cowboys, Romo renegotiate deal; saves $10 million on cap

Tony Romo's base salary for 2014 is dropping by $10 million. (USATSI)
Tony Romo's base salary for 2014 is dropping by $10 million. (USATSI)

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Less than 12 months ago, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo signed a six-year contract extension worth $108 million, giving the team about $5 million worth of cap room for the 2013 season.

On Tuesday, with the Cowboys again in desperate need to get under the cap for the 2014 season, Romo and the team have agreed to a contract restructure that will provide Dallas with a $10 million cushion.

According to ESPN Dallas, the team will convert $12.5 million of Romo's $13.5 million base salary into a signing bonus, which then could be spread over the remaining years of his contract for salary cap purposes. Romo's cap figure then will drop from $21.773 million to $11.773 million.

Here's what former sports agent Joel Corry had to say about Romo's contract last month: "The Cowboys have an NFL high $152.2 million in cap obligations for 2014. Some cap flexibility was built into the six-year, $108 million contract extension (with $55 million in guarantees) Romo signed in 2013 because the deal gives Dallas the discretionary right to convert a portion of his base salary into a signing bonus. Most of the lucrative deals the Cowboys have signed in recent years also contain this clause, which allows them to automatically create cap room. They can create $10.036 million of cap room by converting $12.545 million of Romo's fully guaranteed $13.5 million 2014 base salary into a signing bonus. Romo's 2014 cap number would drop to $11.737 million but his 2015 cap number would rise to $27.782 million."

ESPN Dallas also reports that the Cowboys have renegotiated the contracts with linebacker Sean Lee and cornerback Orlando Scandrick that will gave Dallas another $6.8 million in cap room. Even with all this, though, the Cowboys are reportedly still less than $1 million over the 2014 cap of $133 million.

As we wrote about in the team's offseason preview, the Cowboys still have plenty of work ahead of them in free agency, deciding on if they can keep either defensive tackle Jason Hatcher or defensive end Anthony Spencer -- or both, or neither -- and whether they want to make defensive end DeMarcus Ware a cap causality.

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