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Cowboys news: Ezekiel Elliott identified as a player Dallas could trade before the 2022 season

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NFC Wild Card Playoffs - San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

1 player each NFL team should consider trading before the 2022 season - Brent Sobleski, Bleacher Report

What kind of trade market would there be for Ezekiel Elliott?

Dallas Cowboys: RB Ezekiel Elliott

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Calm down. The Dallas Cowboys should *consider* trading Ezekiel Elliott.

Yes, Elliott is still one of the league’s best running backs when healthy. He’s surely a favorite among Dallas Cowboys faithful. Even so, think about where the team stands in relation to his play and compensation.

Elliott is a four-time 1,000-yard rusher, three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time NFL rushing leader. At points, he’s served as the heartbeat of the Cowboys offense.

He’s also the league’s highest-paid player (in total value) at a devalued position.

While Elliott posted big numbers, the Cowboys won only a single playoff game and didn’t get past the divisional round. Meanwhile, his salary-cap charge this season is $18.2 million. Then he’s under contract for the next four campaigns and the number never dips below $14.3 million.

By trading him now, the Cowboys can save $12.4 million toward this year’s salary cap, which can be rolled over to 2023. Unsurprisingly, the Cowboys are in the red going into next offseason.

Dynamic duo: Cowboys RBs Ezekiel Elliott & Tony Pollard - NFL top tandem? - Staff, Cowboys Country

Where would you rank Cowboys’ RB tandem with the rest of the NFL?

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is set to enter his seventh NFL season. The 26-year-old’s blend of power and finesse, allowed him to earn his fourth 1000-yard rushing season in 2021. Despite a bit of a statistical dip in recent years, Elliott is still considered among the elite players at his position.

Still, even Batman had his Robin.

Elliott’s backfield teammate Tony Pollard has not only become a formidable complementary piece in Dallas’ stable of backs - he has also shown flashes of elite play. In fact, Cowboys fans continue to clamor for Pollard’s increased involvement in the team’s offensive gameplan.

As a tandem, both Elliott and Pollard provide quarterback Dak Prescott with a reliable and oftentimes explosive running game to balance a potent offense. The pair of rushers routinely command the respect and attention of opposing defenses as one of the best 1-2 punches in the league.

Still, the question remains on exactly where Dallas’ ‘dynamic duo’ ranks in the current NFL landscape.

Cowboys in free agency talks with former Colts LB and Texas standout: report - Evan Reier, Heavy.com

Cowboys could be adding some more help at LB soon.

The Dallas Cowboys have had a “quiet” offseason by some fans’ standards, but they may be getting ready to add a new piece.

On July 1, reports came out that Dallas is adding kicker Lirim Hajrullahu, setting up a reunion for the Hajrullahu and the Cowboys after his emergency stand-in appearance last year. Now, a different “homecoming” could be underway with former Texas Longhorns star Malik Jefferson.

Eric Nahlin, managing partner of On3 Sports’ Texas blog, announced that Jefferson is set to visit the Cowboys in less than a week for a tryout.

“Good luck to the one and only ⁦@malikjefferson⁩ on his tryout with the Dallas Cowboys July 8th,” Nahlin Tweeted on July 1.

Cowboys paying premium for P Bryan Anger and LS Jake McQuaide in 2022 - Jess Haynie, Inside The Star

Special teams players matter too!

While things are still very uncertain at the kicker position, the Cowboys aren’t messing around at punter or long snapper in 2022. They will bring back two of the league’s best in Bryan Anger and Jake McQuaide, and Dallas should expect a lot from them given their premium compensation.

After making the Pro Bowl during his first year with the Cowboys, Anger received a new three-year, $9 million contract this offseason. His annual average of $3 million ties him with two others as the third-most expensive punters in the league going into 2022.

McQuaide also re-signed with Dallas last March on another one-year deal. He’s also tied for third-highest compensation at the long snapper position, making $1.28 million this year, along with five others.

Of course, compared to what guys are making on offense and defense, these amounts don’t sound like a lot. But with Anger and McQuaide both making two-to-three times more than others at their positions, expectations for exceptional performance are reasonable.

Free agent Anthony Barr’s fit with the Cowboys is growing more obvious - Lauren Barash, The Landry Hat

Should the Cowboys sign Anthony Barr?

At this point in the NFL offseason, most of the top 2022 free agents have already been signed. The Dallas Cowboys were rumored to be favorites for stars like Von Miller and Bobby Wagner, but none of those came to fruition. That being said, there are still a handful of players out there on both sides of the ball who are still looking for homes for this season.

Some big-name stars like Ndamukong Suh and Odell Beckham Jr. still haven’t signed contracts for next year. However, there is one player that experts continue to believe would be a great fit with the Cowboys. That player is linebacker Anthony Barr.

At the beginning of June, ESPN insider Bill Barnwell suggested that the Cowboys should jump on the former Viking to get another versatile defender on the roster. Barr is not only great in a traditional linebacker role, but he could also give Dallas an additional edge rusher after the loss of Randy Gregory.

Now, a month later, Barr is still on the market, and Barnwell isn’t the only NFL analyst who thinks the Cowboys should add the 30-year-old. Bleacher Report released an article predicting where the top remaining free agents should sign and they believed Barr should also go to Dallas.

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