By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Irving _ Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys have been able to adjust and accomplish everything they wanted to in free agency despite being stripped of $10 million in 2012 and 2013 by the NFL for alleging violating the spirit of the salary cap in the uncapped season of 2010.
SJones feels the Cowboys did nothing wrong and will continue the fight to get some salary cap space for this future since this year is essentially lost.
The next phase of the appeal by the Cowboys and Redskins, who were stripped of $36 million for same violation, occurs Thursday when they face off before a special arbitrator to determine if the grievance should proceed.
The NFL has filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying that it doesn’t under the jurisdiction of special Special Master Stephen Burbank because the NFL Players Association agreed to the sanctions. If the appeal is allowed to go forward, it will be heard at a different time so the case is far from coming to a resolution.
“We have an opportunity to present it to a mediator,” Jones said. “That is what tomorrow is all about is whether or not we do have the opportunity to be before him. “That’s period what it is about. That will not resolve the issue. It will help decide whether we can go before a mediator.”
The contract at issue for the Cowboys is the six-year, $57 million deal the team gave receiver Miles Austin that included an unprecedented $17 million base salary.
The team thinks it has a good case largely because the NFL management council originally approved the contracts in 2010.
The league warned teams to not use the year as a financial dumping ground to preserve future competitive balance but there was no rule prohibiting teams from doing so.
“We followed the rules,” Jones said. “The league has not said we didn’t follow the rules. Those were approved contracts. But this is a complicated issue.”
The good news for Jones is the Cowboys have been able to adjust successfully and have a strong offseason despite the shocking cap charge.
The team signed a record seven players in free agency, including giving cornerback Brandon Carr a whopping $50.1 million contract.
“Certainly we have been able to adjust,” Jones said. “It was a big surprise to us to have that downward adjustment in our cap. It was very meaningful to us cause we are always looking for room under the cap. It was tough to make that adjustment. We had to go into the future to get some of those dollars to get some of those dollars that we wouldn’t have had to do had we not had that adjustment. That will create a challenge for u sin the future.”