can start building their 2022 rosters by signing current free agents. For the Cowboys, it means we will finally get a chance to see how they plan on constructing the roster this year and how it may impact their approach to the upcoming NFL Draft in April.
As we know, the Cowboys are “bargain bin” shoppers in free agency, meaning we likely won’t see them be very active signing players early on. They prefer to fill roster needs with more cost-effective players, and we will identify several options they should sign pre-draft on the offensive side of the ball.
WR Deonte Harris
Add Deonte Harris to the expected duo of CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup - once he’s re-signed - and the Cowboys would once again have a dangerous trio for Dak Prescott in the passing game. Harris is a shifty, speedster who can be a threat on all three levels of the field and be the primary return man if added to the mix. His ability to score from anywhere would give Kellen Moore a unique mismatch weapon for the Cowboys offense.
Spotrac predicts is market value is in the neighborhood of a 3-year, $29 million contract that will earn him approximately $9.8 million per season, but that seems awfully high for a player who has never eclipsed over 600 receiving yards in a season. An annual salary around $5 million sounds more reasonable and one the Cowboys would find much more acceptable for a player who would bring so much to the table like Harris does.
RB Tarik Cohen
With Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard cemented as a Dallas Cowboys RB1 and RB2, there’s really not a big need to invest much into the position either through free agency or the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft. But, adding another player to the mix who can provide something a little different and contribute on special teams shouldn’t be ruled out completely.
That’s why someone like Tarik Cohen makes sense for them. He hasn’t played since 2020 when he sustained a knee injury that cut his season short and has yet to fully recuperate from said injury. When/if he finally is 100%, he’d add something a little different behind Zeke and Tony Pollard to the Cowboys offense and be a dynamic return man as well. On top of all of that, he should be able to be signed relatively cheaply because of his injury history.
TE Geoff Swaim
By franchise tagging Dalton Schultz the Cowboys have their starting tight end under contract for the 2022 season, but behind him there are questions as to who will be the TE2 this year. Blake Jarwin was released due to what was considered a pretty significant and rare hip injury, and other than him only Sean McKeon has shown a little bit of promise. Bringing back the “Swaim Train” would fix all that.
In Geoff Swaim, the Cowboys would be getting not only a player they are already familiar with, but someone who would also upgrade the depth at TE and give them a capable starter if needed. The best news is, they can probably bring him back in the fold for around the veteran minimum or close to it. A capable starter if needed who adds much-needed depth and is cost effective? What else can you ask for?
C/OG Ted Karras
Not only do the Dallas Cowboys need to replace Connor Williams at left guard, but they need to add some more depth on the interior of their offensive line as well for the upcoming 2022 season. A player like Ted Karras, who has starting experience at both guard and center for both the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, could be the solution to the Cowboys problems.
Karras was the starting left guard for the Patriots for the majority of the 2021 season and started 16 games at center for the Dolphins in 2020 with 15 more starts at center in his first stint in New England in 2019. He could step into Connor Williams’ spot at LG or maybe even challenge Tyler Biadasz for the starting job. On top of all of that, he wouldn’t be pricey. Dallas could sign him to a similar deal like the Patriots did last year (one-year, $3 million).
OT Cameron Fleming
With La’el Collins all but gone, whether it’s via trade or release, the Dallas Cowboys will need to improve their depth at offensive tackle for the 2022 season. Tyron Smith’s ability to stay healthy can’t be trusted, and now that Terence Steele will be the full-time starting right tackle, Dallas will need a new swing tackle. Why not bring back one who played that role previously for them in Cameron Fleming?
For two years in 2018 and 2019 Cameron Fleming served as the Cowboys swing tackle. As a player they are already familiar with, the comfort they probably have in him could make him the ideal candidate to help add depth to the tackle position in 2022. He has starting experience on both the right and left side and should be relatively cost-effective after playing on a one-year, $1.67 million contract with the Denver Broncos last year.