Cowboys not expected to use franchise tag

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are facing another salary cap crunch and may not use the franchise tag this year.

The Dallas Cowboys are looking at yet another salary cap nightmare this offseason. As a result, executive vice president Stephen Jones said he does not anticipate using the franchise tag.

Right now, the Cowboys are projected to have a cap number of roughly $150 million, according to Over The Cap. With the 2014 salary cap expected to be around $126 million, Dallas has a lot of work to do to get under that number. The franchise tag may simply not be an option with so much guaranteed money attached.

The past two years, the Cowboys used the tag on linebacker Anthony Spencer. That's probably not an option this year, with Spencer undergoing microfracture surgery and making $10.6 million in 2013. If they do use the tag, one potential candidate is defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. The 31-year-old is coming off a monster year, piling up 11 sacks. He wants to get rewarded handsomely  for it, telling ESPN Dallas, "I'm going to get what I deserve and get what I'm worth. Age don't matter. Whatever. If you ain't talking what I want, I don't want to talk to 'em."

However Hatcher's situation shakes out, the Cowboys will have another long offseason ahead of them after missing the playoffs for the third year in a row.

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