The Dallas Cowboys are doing everything possible to not only get under the salary cap, but also to create enough space to be able to reload for a run at the playoffs in 2013. They've already saved about $23 million over the last 24 hours, according to ESPNDallas.com's Todd Archer, and it's probably safe to assume more contracts will be reworked in the coming days.
But it's so easy to forget that the money being pushed back by all or most of these restructures is still owed to the players under contract. We've seen teams suffer serious long-term pain as a result of similar efforts to achieve short-term gains.
Are the Cowboys mortgaging the future for right now?
I'm not necessarily opposed to that philosophy, because windows are only open for so long in this league, and I don't believe thinking years ahead is good for business in the world of professional sports.
But it's something to be considered. Because if the team is going to be handcuffed by excruciatingly expensive, back-loaded deals two or three years from now, it had better be worth it. If they're creating a potential future cap catastrophe in order to keep Anthony Spencer or bring in a free agent or two, those players better come through.
Of course, it's also possible the Cowboys avoid cap hell. We don't know the details of most of these restructures yet, and the 'Boys could be gambling that the salary cap will finally begin to grow in the coming years. It's been close to stagnant since 2009, but the revenue raised by new television contracts will kick in for the 2015 offseason.
Are the Cowboys going to regret moving all of this money back?
Fans should appreciate the risk they're taking. They obviously see that there's an opportunity for this team to make a run right here and right now. With the Giants dumping salaries, the Eagles rebuilding and the Redskins still unsure about the health of their franchise quarterback, the Cowboys could enter 2013 as the favorite to win the NFC East.
This is is an organization that has a top-10 quarterback, a pair of stud receivers, a running back with game-changing ability, two of the best pass-rushers in the game, two potential star cornerbacks and two top-tier run-defending linebackers. The pieces are in place, and the Cowboys are putting all of their chips in.
It's a little dangerous, but that's the right mentality under these circumstances.