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Cowboys and Redskins Arbitration Set For May 10

Friday, April, 20, 2012

The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys are set to go to arbitration against the National Football League (NFL) in May to reverse the salary cap penalties that have been imposed on them. The hearing is going before Stephen Burbank, law professor at Penn. He has been the arbitration attorney for the league for some time now. Tensions have been mounting for some time with contracts seemingly unclear as to whether this was intelligent planning on the parts of the teams, or deliberate manipulation of various loopholes to obtain much more money.

The Situation As It Is Prior to Legal Arbitration


For the 2012 season, the NFL imposed the $36 million cap space on the Redskins, and then again in 2013. The Dallas Cowboys also had to forfeit $10 million due to some dumped money in 2010. Both teams contest that the contracts were league-approved and that no wrongdoing has been done. The arbitration, set for May 10th can be appealed by both sides under the CBA, or the two could reach a settlement. As it stands in pre-arbitration, the money has been redistributed to the other teams in the NFL. Worries have been voiced that this may set a precedent that could lead to further issues with enforcing the caps.


Oddly enough, the NFLPA actually did agree to the cap cuts for both clubs to help prevent the league from having to lower salary caps for the other 32 teams. Both the Cowboys and Redskins had redone the contracts that would load the player salaries into an uncapped year. This year would have gone otherwise paid in subsequent seasons but had the caps in place. This is what the NFL claims allowed them to avert the cap space during otherwise capped seasons.