Would the pass-rush needy Dallas Cowboys be willing to fork over a big-money contract to sign Jason Pierre-Paul away from the New York Giants? ESPN’s Dan Graziano said in a recent video clip that it “seems doubtful, but it’s not crazy.”
"Signing Pierre-Paul, who would bolt the Giants if someone dangled a big contract in front of him, would strengthen the Cowboys at a key position while also weakening their closest division rival,” Graziano said.
So, is Graziano crazy?
Several weeks ago I listed the Cowboys among the teams that might be willing to outbid the Giants for Pierre-Paul. They certainly have the need, with Benson Mayowa having led them in sacks last season with six.
The immediate objection will be “but Dallas is already $10 million over the cap. They won’t be able to pay Pierre-Paul.”
The salary cap, though, can always be manipulated. If the Cowboys want Pierre-Paul they can offer him a contract that uses bonuses and a lower first-year base salary to keep the 2017 cap number down. The Giants that in all of their big-money free agent deals last season, as the lowest cap numbers in the contracts signed by Olivier Vernon, Damon Harrison and Janoris Jenkins were for the 2016 season.
Creating enough cap space for Pierre-Paul and getting his name on a contract wouldn’t be easy for the Cowboys. Graziano is right, though, to think that it isn’t crazy for them to try.