The attention of the NFL world is in Indianapolis this week, as teams prepare for the draft at the annual scouting combine. For a team as dependent on building through the draft as the Dallas Cowboys, this is a particularly important week, though Stephen Jones did give some insight on the team’s plans beyond the draft in free agency.
With little reason to expect the Cowboys to deviate from prioritizing their own free agents and planning on finding multiple starters in the draft, their usual offseason sales pitch as to why they have an advantage in the NFC East is going to be difficult. The Eagles representing the NFC in the Super Bowl and Giants making the playoffs in year one under Brian Daboll gives the Cowboys plenty of motivation to make more of a splash in free agency, and pulling from a rival team is an added bonus.
The Giants are planning on releasing wide receiver Kenny Golladay, just two years into a four-year deal. Golladay will turn 30 at the start of the 2023 season, and is coming off career lows in games started, catches, and yards. Even by the Cowboys free agent standards, Golladay is hardly the big name to get excited about at this point in his career, but he is the type of potential discount signing that helps clear up options in the draft.
With the Cowboys front office preferring to go into the draft without any glaring roster needs, wide receiver is still a major position of need. Dallas may be discouraged by last year’s addition of James Washington, who was released midseason, but did add T.Y. Hilton as a valuable veteran presence down the stretch. Hilton is set to be a free agent again, and Golladay could be a similar player. Adding the veteran early in the free agency period to learn Mike McCarthy’s new offense would help the Cowboys better define the roles CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup have as incumbent receivers.
Golladay has averaged 16.2 yards per catch in his career, with the run after the catch ability to be a reliable checkdown option if nothing else at this point in his career. His flexibility to line up outside the numbers or in the slot gives the Cowboys much needed depth at multiple positions in a new-look offense, and the added benefit of having him for games against a familiar opponent in the Giants can’t hurt.
The Giants won’t officially release Golladay until March 15th when the new league year begins, and between then and now much bigger names like Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner, or Odell Beckham Jr. will continue to peak the interest of Cowboys fans everywhere. When free agency does begin though, the type of player this team targets is much closer to what’s left of Kenny Golladay, making him a receiver worth keeping an eye on.