As we wait for which Cowboys player will receive the franchise tag, there are potential options in free agency to fill holes. The caveat being these players not being tagged by their current employer.
While the Cowboys sort out their own franchise tag debates, here are some players they should hope don’t get tagged by their current teams. After all, that would take them off the market with free agency just weeks away.
3. Dre’Mont Jones, DL (Broncos)
The Cowboys’ need for interior defensive line help goes without saying. Neville Gallimore is a potential cut candidate, Johnathan Hankins is a free agent, and Quinton Bohanna was inactive for the final three games (including the playoffs), and Week 9 marked the last time he played more than 30% of the snaps.
Osa Odighizuwa looks the part of a building block, but what good is having one tour de force lineman? That’s where Jones comes in.
2. Jonathan Jones, CB (Patriots)
The 2023 draft class is loaded at cornerback, so it stands to reason the Cowboys simply select a prospect in the first or second round.
South Carolina’s Cam Smith, Maryland’s Deonte Banks, and Syracuse’s Garrett Williams, and Mississippi State’s Emmanuel Forbes are some names to keep an eye on in that regard.
Dallas Cowboys decide on new RB coach, promote assistant OL coach Jeff Blasko - Clarence E. Hill Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A familiar Mike McCarthy assistant has been promoted to work on the running backs.
The Dallas Cowboys have decided on a new tutor for running back Tony Pollard and possibly Ezekiel Elliott following the decision to not renew the contract of position coach Skip Peete after the 2022 season.
Per sources, Jeff Blasko, who has served the team’s assistant offensive line coach since 2020, will be takeover as running backs coach.
Peete recently accepted a similar position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This will be Blasko’s first stint working with running backs where Pollard, coming off his first 1,000-yard season, and 2022 rookie Malik Davis are set to return.
Elliott is a wildcard to return as a pay cut or release is a real possibility for the former two-time rushing champ and third all-time leading rusher in franchise history.
Will trader Jerry strike a big trade to bring in another playmaker?
Adding a wide receiver for this offense is a priority this off-season. In a non-salary cap world, players like DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Brandin Cooks, Stefon Diggs, and Kenny Galladay would be in the mix.
The one issue is that Dallas cannot bring on a veteran with a long-term high salary because of the pending commitment to CeeDee Lamb.
Dallas would only add $1,437,403 million to the cap with this move.
Cincinnati has four free-agent corners (Apple, Flowers, Davis, and Lammons), so Lewis helps that need. The Bengals also get a rotational defensive tackle who has gotten lost in the depth of the Cowboys’ defense.
Indianapolis is rebuilding, and Stephon Gilmore will be 33 years old at the start of the season. He should be open to a trade to a playoff team over being stuck on a team rebuilding.
Debunking the myth about Cowboys quarterback scouting and development - Jess Haynie, Blogging The Boys.
A mixed bag of recent quarterback acquisitions doesn’t necessarily mean the franchise lacks credibility when bringing in new field generals.
With Cooper Rush a free agent and Dak Prescott coming off a down year, quarterback is a hot topic for the Cowboys’ 2023 offseason. Discussion around how Dallas has handled its scouting and development of QBs in the past has been mostly negative, but is that really fair?
One of the more common statements you’ll see is that the Cowboys lucked or stumbled into Dak Prescott and Tony Romo as their last two starters. While Dallas has certainly gotten plenty of mileage out of a former fourth-round pick and undrafted free agent, the notion that it was all some happy accident is disrespectful to the people who made it happen.
Let’s start with Prescott. A fourth-round pick is hardly some worthless commodity, showing the Cowboys clearly believed in Dak to have potential for the future. Outside of Stephen McGee in 2009 (also a fourth), the Prescott pick is the highest that Dallas has taken a QB since using a second-rounder on Quincy Carter in 2002.
Dallas’ selection of Prescott has always come with the asterisk that they really wanted Paxton Lynch in the first round and preferred Connor Cook over Prescott in the fourth round. While both of these things are true, other teams clearly shared the Cowboys’ belief in these guys’ potential. Both the Broncos and Raiders, respectively, traded up to select Lynch and Cook when they did.
Sure, nobody could’ve imagined that Prescott would have the immediate impact he did in Dallas. The rest of the NFL certainly didn’t expect it, either, given that he fell to the bottom of the fourth round. But it was the Cowboys who ultimately made the decision to add Prescott and the results have been spectacular for where he was drafted. The details about Lynch and Cook aside, they still deserve credit for seeing Dak’s potential and having him ready to step in for Tony Romo so quickly.
Cowboys to Sign Jarvis Landry, Predicts NFL Exec; Would Dallas ‘Settle’ at WR? - Mike Fisher, SI.com
The wide out position is an obvious need, and there are plenty of avenues the team could take in terms of fixing the position going forward.
Contrary to what many outside The Star repeat by rote, the Dallas Cowboys do not need to “make a splash’’ when it comes to talent acquisition; rather, they just need talent acquisition, just like every other team.
There is no conflict between “inside the building’’ and “outside The Star,’’ however, about a positional need, as the Cowboys themselves made clear at last year’s October trade deadline when they flirted with trade ideas for Houston’s Brandin Cooks and Denver’s Jerry Jeudy ... then signed T.Y. Hilton while also wining and dining Odell Beckham Jr. without a deal getting done.
But one former NFL exec thinks he got a match ... and brings a debate over whether it’s also a “splash.’’
“The Cowboys are going to look to make a splash at wide receiver,’’ a “former NFL exec’’ tells NFL Analysis Network. “Jarvis Landry may not be viewed by most as a splash anymore, but he would be a big-time addition. I think that’s where he ends up, although other teams will be interested as well.”
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