Today we continue our 2023 Dallas Cowboys free agency profile series. Our next profile features our third offensive player, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
2022 Regular Season Stats: 3G, 7 receptions, 121 yards, 17.3 Y/R, 5 First Downs, 70% Catch%
Year Review: Despite playing in just five games for the Cowboys last season, T.Y. Hilton was able to make an impact during his short stint in Dallas. The 33-year-old, who was signed as a free agent in mid-December, had a pretty solid showing in five total games.
Hilton finished with 10 catches on 15 targets, for 159 yards, an average of nearly 16 yards per reception. Hilton also had at least one first-down reception in every game he played for the Cowboys, recording seven on the year.
The veteran wideout developed a nice rapport with Dak Prescott and quickly became one of Dallas’ primary targets on third down.
T.Y. Hilton said he has multiple gears and this wasn’t close to being his top speed. “I just run (fast) enough to where I can catch it. That ball was on the money.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) December 26, 2022
Via @NextGenStats, Dak’s pass traveled 62.1 air yards, a career-high on a completion. pic.twitter.com/TVbWKKMbvT
Lots of #DallasCowboys fans are saying thank you to T.Y. Hilton for his production. #DALvsTEN on Prime Video— NFL (@NFL) December 30, 2022
Also available on NFL+ https://t.co/745fAOdlLT pic.twitter.com/ztkTKnePVN
T.Y. Hilton's playing time went up from 16% to 28% this week. He caught four of five targets, three of which were third-down conversions. He and Dak continue to build chemistry and he's proving to be a nice addition to the Cowboys' offense. pic.twitter.com/RPyKSoQZNK— Dan Rogers (@DannyPhantom24) December 30, 2022
While there isn’t a ton to judge him on, the Cowboys have to feel pretty good about the positive impact Hilton made in his short time as a Cowboy.
Free Agency Outlook: With Hilton’s advanced age and limited playing time during the 2022 season, it’s hard to accurately determine what teams believe he will be worth on the open market.
Spotrac projects Hilton to land a two-year, $12M deal in free agency.
While this may seem a bit rich considering he signed for just $800,000 with the Cowboys this season, with the lack of quality in free agency at the receiver position this offseason Hilton easily could earn this type of deal.
Emmanuel Sanders, who Spotrac has as a comparable player to Hilton, signed a one-year, $6M at age 33 two offseasons ago with the Bills. While teams may be hesitant about giving Hilton two guaranteed years at his advanced age, a one-year deal in the $5-8M range seems reasonable.
Final Verdict: If the Cowboys were able to get Hilton back at anywhere close to the number they signed him for in December it would be a great move. But with the lack of talent at the receiver position in free agency, someone is likely to offer him much more.
If no one has signed Hilton late into free agency the Cowboys could circle back and potentially make him an offer, but if it requires a multi-year or significant financial commitment going younger at the receiver position is a much better decision.
Prediction: T.Y. Hilton signs a one-year, $7 deal with the Baltimore Ravens.