Dallas Cowboys: Top five cap hits in 2019

The Dallas Cowboys' offensive line is a key cog of the team. So, of course, a number of offensive linemen find themselves on this list of most cap costly players on the roster in 2019.

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The Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line is a key cog of the team. As we check the team’s top salary cap hits, the offensive line makes a regular appearance.

Earlier, we discussed the top salary cap hits for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now we’ll check out a Dallas Cowboys team that has invested heavily in the offensive line. That will become evident as we wade through the top five players on the salary cap table, starting right at the top.

Just like with the Eagles, we’ll look at the contracts of these five players, as well as the future of their contracts. And all numbers come courtesy of Spotrac.

Top Five Dallas Cowboys Salary Cap Hits

LT Tyron Smith ($15,545,000)

Naturally, the biggest investment on the offensive line this season for the Cowboys comes at the left tackle position. Tyron Smith’s cap of over $15 million accounts for about 7.74 percent of the Cowboys’ salary cap. That comes from a $10 million base salary owed to Smith, plus a charge of $5,545,000 from his 2017 contract restructuring.

Smith’s $10 million 2019 salary is eighth among left tackles, behind Russell Okung ($13 million), Nate Solder ($12,900,000), Taylor Lewan ($11,088,235), Trent Williams ($10,850,000), Terron Armstead ($10,700,000), Eric Fisher ($10,350,000) and Andrew Whitworth ($10,250,000).

Smith has four years remaining on his contract. His base salaries over the next four years are $10 million in 2020, $10,500,000 in 2021, $13,500,000 in 2022 and $13,600,000 in 2023. He also has extra charges of $3,545,000 in 2020 and $1,745,000 in 2021.

LG Zack Martin ($14,000,000)

Zack Martin has become one of the top offensive guards in the NFL, so it makes sense that he is near the top of the salary cap table for the Cowboys now that he earned a big-money contract after his rookie contract. Martin signed a six-year extension in 2018 worth $84 million.

Martin is set to make $10 million in 2019. An extra $4 million comes from the prorated signing bonus charge from the 2018 extension. That is the third-highest base salary among guards. Only Andrew Norwell ($13 million) and Brandon Scherff ($12,525,000) will make more this season.

Martin’s contract is actually set up pretty simply. For the most part, it’s his salary plus the $4 million signing bonus charge (which end after 2022). His upcoming salaries are $11 million in 2020 ($8 million of which becomes guaranteed on March 17), $11 million in 2021, $11,841,000 in 2022, $13,500,000 in 2023 and $13 million in 2024. Martin is also due a $1 million roster bonus in 2024.

WR Amari Cooper ($13,924,000)

The Dallas Cowboys have plenty of contract questions coming up. The Ezekiel Elliott deal is obvious, with the star running back holding out of training camp. The team also has to begin focusing on quarterback Dak Prescott (something that was discussed here at PFN previously thanks for the Russell Wilson contract). Then there’s Amari Cooper, whom the Cowboys traded a first-round pick to the Oakland Raiders for.

Cooper is in his fifth year in the league and is playing under the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. He’ll earn $13,924,000 in 2019. That is the third-highest salary among wide receivers behind Odell Beckham, Jr. ($16,750,000) and Antonio Brown ($13,924,000). For the record, Saints WR Michael Thomas will make a salary of under $1.7 million, as his big salaries will not kick in until 2020 with his new blockbuster contract. And you know Cooper is eyeing that Thomas contract and dreaming of breaking the bank himself.

Time will tell if and when the Cowboys open the checkbook for Cooper, along with Prescott and Elliott. But it’s clear the wide receiver is set, and Cooper (and Julio Jones) will be two of the biggest beneficiaries.

DE DeMarcus Lawrence ($11,100,000)

DeMarcus Lawrence cashed in earlier this offseason after receiving the franchise tag from the Cowboys. Lawrence signed a five-year, $105 million contract. That includes $48 million guaranteed, including his 2019 salary of $1.5 million, a roster bonus of $4.6 million and his 2020 salary of $16,900,000. In other words, don’t get used to these smaller cap hits anymore for Lawrence.

Lawrence’s $25 million signing bonus will be spread out throughout the contract, so add $5 million to his base salaries for his cap hit each year, meaning his 2020 cap hit jumps to $21,900,000.

His remaining salaries he is owed are $17 million in 2021, $19 million in 2022 and $21 million in 2023, for cap hits of $22 million, $24 million and $26 million, respectively.

Lawrence’s 2019 salary is obviously low with the contract structuring, but he does jump to the second-highest salary among defensive ends in 2020, behind the $17,000,000 Frank Clark will make next season.

C Travis Frederick ($10,975,000)

The third member of the Cowboys’ offensive line on this list is the man in the middle. It’s also a player that missed all of 2018 while recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Fortunately for Dallas, Travis Frederick is back. Frederick is due $6 million in base salary in 2019, which is tied with Mike Pouncey for the fourth-highest in the league. Add in his $650,000 signing bonus charge, and $4,325,000 which came from previous restructures, and you get to the cap hit of $10,975,000). Ryan Jensen ($10 million), Alex Mack ($8,500,000) and Rodney Hudson ($8,250,000) will make more in salary this season.

Down the line, Frederick will have base salaries of $7 million in 2020, $6,800,000 in 2021, $8,450,0000 in 2022 and $10,150,000 in 2023. Frederick also still has a signing bonus charge of $650,000 in 2020, plus extra charges of $4,325,000 in 2020 and 2021 plus $1,740,000 in 2022. That makes his upcoming cap hits $11,975,000 in 2020, $11,125,000 in 2021, $10,190,000 in 2022 and $10,150,000 in 2023.

Rounding out the top ten on the salary cap table are DT Tyrone Crawford ($10,100,000), RT La’el Collins ($9,925,084), DE Robert Quinn ($8,000,000), CB Byron Jones ($6,266,000) and OLB Sean Lee ($6,012,500).

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