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Cowboys news: Donovan Wilson’s free agency complicated by other Dallas safeties

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NFL: NFC Wild Card Round-Dallas Cowboys at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Wilson may not be a priority free agent for the Cowboys - Ross Love, Inside the Star

Wilson had a breakout season for the Cowboys, but his status in free agency looms.

Dan Quinn will undoubtedly make a big push for Wilson to be part of his defense in 2023. After all, he turned down head coaching jobs to stay in Dallas, which may have come with some conditions.

In an ideal world, the Cowboys would ink Wilson to a multi-year contract. And in turn, make a significant stride in solving their somewhat constant defensive secondary woes.

With Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse under contract through 2023, the Cowboys might think the position is in good hands even without Wilson.

Kearse and Hooker have been solid at safety since joining the team in 2021. If Wilson does walk away, the position would not be completely lost without him.

Donovan Wilson, Dalton Shultz, Tony Pollard, and Leighton Vander Esch top the list of Cowboys free agents this off-season. On paper, it would be ideal to bring them all back for 2023 and beyond.

A Former Cowboys Coach Is Going To The Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jarrett Prendergast, The Cold Wire

The Cowboys opening round playoff opponent has now hired one of their old coaches.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers added a new coach to their coaching staff.

In need of a new running backs coach, the Bucs hired Skip Peete, who was most recently with the Dallas Cowboys.

His most recent tenure with the Cowboys was for the past three seasons. The Cowboys had one of the best running back rooms in the NFL over that time with Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard. Now Peete will be tasked with leading a new group of running backs.

Tampa Bay currently has Leonard Fournette and Rachaad White on the roster. Both of which made a significant impact last season. The Buccaneers were one of the worst rushing teams in the NFL this season.

Buccaneers to hire George Edwards as outside linebackers coach - Josh Alper, PFT

Another ex-Cowboys coach is headed to Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers are adding another former member of the Cowboys coaching staff to Todd Bowles’ staff for the 2023 season.

Greg Auman of Fox Sports reports that the Bucs will hire George Edwards as their outside linebackers coach. They are also hiring running backs coach Skip Peete, who joined Edwards in being dismissed by the Cowboys after their playoff loss to the 49ers.

Edwards was a senior defensive assistant in Dallas for the last three seasons. He’s been a linebackers coach or defensive coordinator for Minnesota, Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland and Washington since entering the league as the Cowboys linebackers coach in 1998.

The best indicator for how the Dallas Cowboys 2023 season will go - Blogging The Boys - Tom Ryle, Blogging the Boys

The Cowboys season may very well be decided before it even starts.

Now that you’ve been teased like some internet ad for a miracle cure that goes on and on, here is the indicator: What will they do about wide receiver?

The position was mishandled last year. Badly. It started with the not-so-subtle scapegoating of Amari Cooper in what is easily interpreted as setting up his eventual trade. The shibboleth of how players with big cap hits hold the team back was trotted out, complaints about his work ethic and influence in the locker room were fed to us, and then the team’s leading receiver for 2021 was shipped out via trade for draft peanuts.

The ensuing approach to the position saw no budging from the foolishly stingy approach Dallas takes to free agency, and the only steps to address it after the Cooper departure were to sign James Washington to a typical bargain-basement deal and spend a third-round draft pick on Jalen Tolbert. Washington barely saw the field due to injury before being released and Tolbert was a non-factor all season.

There also was a bit of scapegoating of Dak Prescott. He was expected to elevate the receivers not named CeeDee Lamb and took a lot of heat during the latter stages of the season when his interceptions went up. That is another story, though. The Cowboys expected more of Michael Gallup who was signed to a new deal despite coming off a season-ending injury, and relied too much on Noah Brown to step up.

Now we face a very similar situation as the hole left by Cooper is still there. Gallup made some strides in the late season but has not demonstrated that he can return to pre-injury form. The only wide receivers currently under contract are Lamb, Gallup, Tolbert, and Simi Fehoko. KaVontae Turpin could be a part of the mix, but he is currently in a bit of a social media campaign to convince the coaching staff to see him that way. That still is one very good WR1, a maybe at WR2, and who knows beyond them. Jerry Jones seems infatuated with Odell Beckham, who missed all of last season due to injury. T.Y. Hilton may also be a possible target to re-sign.

Franchise Tag: Pollard over Schultz in 2023? Patrik Walker,

Who will the Cowboys franchise tag?

Dalton Schultz is a leading candidate for the franchise tag, considering he is still absent a long-term deal after he and the Cowboys failed to come to terms on one last summer.

The problem is a clear-and-obvious one, though, in that Schultz would be operating under a second franchise tag and, as such, he’d be subject to a raise to the tune of roughly $13 million (120% of his 2022 payout) — having earned a fully-guaranteed $10.9 million last year.

The future tag salary on Schultz isn’t necessarily what makes it challenging to envision it happening, though, but instead it’s the fact Tony Pollard wrecked shop in what became a career-best season in every category that mattered after being fully unleashed in tandem with Ezekiel Elliott.

If Pollard is tagged, his salary would be less than what Schultz earned last season by $800,000 ($10.1 million salary), and it would not only allow the Cowboys until July 14 to negotiate a long-term deal, but the Pro Bowl running back also wouldn’t be allowed to take calls from other teams — assuming it’s an exclusive franchise tag.

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