|National Football League|
Salary cap penalty hasn't kept Dallas from moves
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
IRVING, Texas (AP) Jerry Jones says the Dallas Cowboys have been able to do everything they wanted to do this offseason despite the NFL reducing their salary cap.
The NFL took away $10 million in cap space from the Cowboys and $36 million from the Washington Redskins. The two NFC East teams were penalized for overloading contracts in the 2010 uncapped season despite league warnings.
Dallas is splitting the reduction, taking a $5 million cut this year and the rest next season if the penalty isn't overturned.
A hearing is set next month before arbitrator Stephen Burbank, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania.
"I can't say anything regarding the issues that are involved in the hearing," Jones said Wednesday. "But we certainly are hopeful that the mediator will see our side of it."
Despite the cap reduction, the Cowboys were active in free agency and filled some pressing needs.
They signed their top offseason target, cornerback Brandon Carr, to a $50 million, five-year contract with $26.5 million guaranteed. Offensive linemen Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings got starter-worthy multiyear contracts, and Dallas also signed backup quarterback Kyle Orton, safety Brodney Pool, linebacker Dan Connor and fullback Lawrence Vickers.
Jones gave credit to his son, Stephen, the team's director of player personnel.
"Hats off really to Stephen, we have really been able to manage, and I can say we have not missed anything that we wouldn't have done relative to free agency, relative to that cap deduction that we had," Jerry Jones said. "Consequently, we're halfway through the problem now with this draft, then we go into next year and we've got a full year to plan on it."
As for the draft, the Cowboys have eight picks starting with No. 14 overall Thursday night.
Expectations are for Dallas to take a defensive playmaker with their first pick, but Jerry Jones left the door open Wednesday for any number of possibilities.
Jones said the team's pre-draft meetings have included working through possible scenarios to try to move up in the draft for the right players, though he wasn't specific and how and who.
"Yes, there's a possibility," he said. "There are players we'd go up for."
While that could include an offensive player, or even a position the Cowboys already have depth, Jones acknowledged the chance to get quality defensive players that could have an immediate impact.
"We have a chance to get a couple of the top players defensively that can make a difference for us this year," Jones said. "If we just don't make mistakes (Thursday) as much as anything, we have a chance to really come out of here with some players that will be on the field defensively.'"
Updated April 25, 2012