The Dallas Cowboys took steps to reduce their heavy salary cap obligations for the upcoming season by officially restructuring the contracts of five players on Thursday, including Pro Bowl selections DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten and key contributors Miles Austin and Brandon Carr.
The Cowboys also signed longtime long snapper L.P. LaDouceur to a five-year contract that will run through the 2017 season.
According to the team's official site, reworking the deals of Carr, Ware, Witten and Austin will save the Cowboys $21.5 million in cap space. Dallas had been around $20 million over the cap prior to the moves.
Offensive lineman Ryan Cook also had his contract re-done to help get the team under the cap.
The Cowboys likely aren't finished maneuvering, with defensive tackle Jay Ratliff, offensive tackle Doug Free, safety Gerald Sensabaugh, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and linebacker Dan Connor also mentioned by DallasCowboys.com as candidates for restructure or release.
Dallas is also in the process of attempting to work out an extension with quarterback Tony Romo, who will be entering the final year of his contract in 2013, in order to lower his current cap charge and provide further relief.
LaDouceur, meanwhile, will be entering his ninth season with the team. The 31- year-old undrafted free agent has played in all 125 of the Cowboys' regular- season contests since being signed three games into the 2005 campaign.