zimmerpetersonInitial reports Wednesday that Cowboys QB Tony Romo had restructured his contract to clear cap space seemed like an April Fools’ joke. But as more outlets reported it, the skepticism gave way to serious speculation.

Per reports on Pro Football Talk, among others including the Dallas Morning News, the reworking of Romo’s deal frees up $12.8 million in cap space for Dallas in 2015.

Almost too conveniently, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson — rumored to be sought by Dallas and known to be unhappy with Minnesota — is set to earn a salary of $12.75 million next season.

This could just be a coincidence, as Dallas was hard up against the cap before and might have needed help from Romo — who isn’t taking a pay cut, just moving money around — just to sign draft picks and other lesser free agents.

But even the Dallas Morning News makes the Peterson connection: “The Cowboys haven’t pursued a trade for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, but if that were to present itself, they now have more salary cap space to work with after the Romo restructure. A source close to Peterson has said the running back won’t take a pay cut to change teams.”

Will the dots connect? We’ll see. But deferring money with Romo is a sign Dallas is gearing up for a short-term run at a title, and those who argued the Cowboys didn’t have the cap space to do a deal for Peterson will have to come up with another reason it won’t happen.

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