The Cowboys and Redskins have a little less cap space than they thought
The Cowboys will lose $10M worth of cap space, and the Redskins will lose $36M. Schefter says that they'll be able to split it over this year and next, but it will be a tough hit for them.
It appears that the Redskins took advantage of the uncapped year to absorb a lot of the money from Albert Haynesworth and DeAngelo Hall, a couple players whom they had signed to rather exorbitant contracts a few years ago.
Unfortunately for the 'Skins and 'Boys, they won't get the "get out of jail free" card that they were looking for. the NFL caught them in the act, and they're getting payback now.
This might help explain the Redskins' all-out blitz to trade up to the 2nd overall pick to get Robert Griffin III. Now that they don't have the cap space to go after Peyton Manning, they have to resort to the draft, which is cheaper than it was previous to the new collective bargaining agreement.
The cap space taken from the Cowboys and Redskins will be spread out over the rest of the teams, so each team (except the Raiders and Saints) get an additional $1.6M in cap space.
Assuming they spread out their punishments equally over this year and next, the Cowboys' $5.5M that they USED to have in cap space is virtually all gone. The Redskins, who used to have $31.1M in cap room, will now have considerably less leeway.