By Mike Fisher

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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) – And just like that, the Dallas Cowboys are no longer over the cap.

Cowboys COO Steven Jones tells me that today Dallas flipped the triggers on offensive linemen Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith.

Frederick was set to make $14.2 million in fully-guaranteed base salary in 2017, while counting $14.9 million against the cap. The Cowboys had the option of lowering that base salary to the league minimum of $775,000, and converting the remaining $13.5 million to signing bonus and dividing it up in five equal shares. Doing this can lower his cap number to $4.1 million, opening up almost $10.8 mil in cap space in 2017.

Tyron Smith’s base salary was $10 million, with a $15.8 million cap charge. By lowering the base salary to $775,000, and prorating the remaining $9.2 million, Dallas can lower his cap charge to $8.4 million, opening about $7.4 million in space.

That’s $17 million in cap savings, without having to “kick the can” (because all of this money is still moved and still paid within the life of the young players’ existing contracts).

So on Monday morning, the Cowboys were $11 million over the cap. Magically, as I write this, Dallas now sits almost $7 million below the cap.

There are other moves they can make like this (Sean Lee is one; Dez Bryant is another, though I’m told Dallas doesn’t want to do it with receiver). And then there is the divorce from Tony Romo, a different sort of deal entirely but still one that will save $5.1 million in cap room.

The Romo deal is a painful one in some ways. The Frederick and Smith deals well constructed exactly this way for exactly this purpose.

And now, once again, you know why I always say Cap Hell is a myth.

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