The final game of the 2021 NFL season will take place on Sunday and unfortunately the Dallas Cowboys are not in it. Watching another Super Bowl, all of the commercials, the halftime performance, and all of that jazz with the Cowboys home for the 26th year in a row is certainly frustrating, but as always we return to the fold hoping that next year is the one to break the drought.
Things are going to be tough for Dallas this offseason. They have a variety of decisions to make as it relates to their own team. There are notable players set to hit free agency like Randy Gregory, Michael Gallup, Dalton Schultz, and Jayron Kearse (just to name a few) so the team’s brain-trust is going to have to get creative.
While it is a path that they generally choose not to explore, the Cowboys also do have the option to pursue free agents departing from other teams (what a novel concept). Since there is an important game happening on Sunday we decided to take a look at a few who could maybe be on the Cowboys’ radar under the right circumstances.
S Jessie Bates III, Cincinnati Bengals
Death, taxes, and hoping that the Dallas Cowboys spend serious money on the safety position.
Obviously the Cowboys have one safety to tend to in Jayron Kearse, but widening the parameters a bit it is worth at least talking about Cincinnati’s Jessie Bates. It is possible that the Bengals decide to place the franchise tag on Bates (especially if they win the Super Bowl and want to run things back), and if he does hit the open market he is likely going to command a lot of money which is not the Jones’ style.
Bates has primarily been a free safety over the course of his career, but it’s not like the Cowboys are married to anybody at either spot. We go through this song and dance every year where we pine after the top safety on the market. It is likely to end in vain with Bates, but we can still watch the Super Bowl and let ourselves dream.
EDGE Von Miller, Los Angeles Rams
The Dallas Cowboys have to figure out their own pass rusher situation as rumors about them potentially moving on from DeMarcus Lawrence continue to swirl and Randy Gregory awaits free agency. Micah Parsons exists and can do a lot on his own, but he is one player on an 11-man defense.
It is possible, but not likely (again the premise for this entire discussion given the way the Cowboys choose to operate), that Dallas could pursue veteran Von Miller in an effort to add to their pass rushing prowess. Miller hasn’t even been on the Rams for all of this season as Los Angeles traded for him midway through, but the Cowboys were reportedly interested in him at the time as well.
Miller is a player with Texas roots and his own mother has once tried to will him to the Dallas Cowboys. All of that is relatively meaningless in the business of football, but for the right price it could certainly make sense.
WR Odell Beckham Jr., Los Angeles Rams
To be perfectly clear here, the challenge of this discussion is that there are only two teams to choose from. What’s more is that we have to live in the moment with regards to the rumors surrounding DeMarcus Lawrence and Amari Cooper.
Say the Cowboys do decide to move on from Cooper one way or another. Say within this hypothetical that they also are not able to bring back Michael Gallup. Suddenly wide receiver would be a relatively top need when it felt incredibly secure not too long ago.
If that were the case it is worth talking about Odell Beckham Jr. (again, only two teams playing this weekend). Beckham was not exactly productive with the Cleveland Browns or down the stretch of his New York Giants career, but he has seemingly returned to the player he was many moons ago with the Rams.
Paired with CeeDee Lamb it is possible that Beckham maintains the level of productivity that has helped L.A. make it to this weekend in the first place. Like the other options mentioned, he would certainly command a bit of a higher price, but so will anyone worth talking about.
Ultimately that is the lesson that the Jones’ will hopefully learn, besides the fact that the two Rams players listed were acquired by their team mid-season.