Three-fifths of the group in charge of protecting Dallas' new $160 million quarterback are getting their money up front.
The combination of restructures creates $18.975 million in cap space for the Cowboys, who had less than $1 million in space before the adjustments to the contracts.
Dallas dealt with an unusual amount of injuries to key linemen in 2020. Smith's season was essentially lost to injury, as the seven-time Pro Bowl tackle appeared in just two games. Martin was limited to 10 games, while Collins missed the entire season, spending it on injured reserve due to a hip injury.
Running back Ezekiel Elliott suffered as a result, recording a career-low 4.0 yards per carry on 244 attempts and scoring six touchdowns in 15 games.
Dallas will hope to have its line back at full strength instead of being forced to shuffle backups around to find the right mix. With Dak Prescott returning from injury, a healthy line will be essential to the Cowboys' chances of authoring a redemption campaign in 2021.
Here is other news Around The NFL is monitoring Thursday:
- The Detroit Lions plan to release defensive back Justin Coleman in the coming days, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Thursday. Coleman, 27, spent two seasons in Detroit, where he logged 16 starts in 27 games played and recorded 84 tackles, 14 passes defensed, three forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery.
- The Kansas City Chiefs released starting tackles Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz, Rapoport reported.
- The Houston Texans restructured wide receiver Brandin Cooks to save $6.53 million versus the cap, per Rapoport. The team also signed former Saints and Ravens running back Mark Ingram to a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, Pelissero and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported, per informed sources.
- The Philadelphia Eagles gained $9.408 million of cap flexibility after restructuring defensive tackle Javon Hargrave's deal, Rapoport reported.
- Atlanta Falcons starting safety Damontae Kazee is not expected to re-sign with the team this offseason, Rapoport reported per a source. Kazee suffered a torn Achilles in October, but he recently received a thumbs up from Dr. Robert Anderson and will be cleared by training camp. The Falcons re-signed four exclusive rights free agents: Kicker Younghoe Koo, wide receiver Christian Blake, cornerback Tyler Hall and defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner.
- The Miami Dolphins announced the following promotions with their coaching staff: Danny Crossman (assistant head coach/special teams coordinator), George Godsey (co-offensive coordinator/tight ends), Eric Studesville (co-offensive coordinator/running backs), Charles Burks (cornerbacks coach), Austin Clark (defensive line coach), Shawn Flaherty (assistant offensive line coach), Mike Judge (assistant tight ends coach) and Rob Leonard (outside linebackers coach).
- The Chicago Bears have re-signed kicker Cairo Santos to a three-year, $9 million deal worth up to $11M with incentives, Rapoport reported, per an informed source. The team later announced the signing. Santos, 29, will make $4.575 million in guarantees, Garafolo added. The 29-year-old special teamer fared well in his first season in Chicago, converting 30 of his 32 field goal attempts and 36 of 37 his extra point attempts.
- Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Taylor Moton signed his franchise tag tender, per the transaction wire.
- The New Orleans announced Thursday that they released cornerback Janoris Jenkins.