Cowboys redo five player contracts, save cap space

IRVING, Texas (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys have reworked the contracts of five starters, including DeMarcus Ware, Jason Witten

and Miles Austin, to save salary cap space.

Dallas, which was penalized $5 million off

its cap in both 2012 and 2013, has needed to scramble to free up space.

By restructuring

the deals of star linebacker Ware, tight end Witten, wide receiver

Austin, cornerback Brandon Carr and center Ryan Cook, the

Cowboys wiped out the $20 million they were projected to be over

the cap this year.

The biggest savings will come in the Carr deal. Dallas signed Carr as a free agent last year, and Thursday's moves turn nearly

all of the $14.3 million he was due in salary into a signing bonus. Carr will count $3.5 million against this year's cap.

Ware's salary is going down to $1 million for this season, and a $5 million bonus is being spread over the rest of the contract,

saving $4 million.

The Cowboys could get further under the cap with a new contract for Tony Romo, who is entering the final year of his deal

and counts $16.8 million against the cap this season.

Dallas is interested in re-signing linebacker Anthony Spencer, an unrestricted free agent, but owner Jerry Jones said at the

NFL scouting combine last week he wasn't sure the Cowboys could afford to keep their sacks leader from 2012.

The Cowboys also re-signed long snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a five-year contract. He's been with Dallas since the middle of

the 2005 season. He's handled snaps on 562 punts, 245 field goals and 341 extra points.