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Cowboys news: Looking ahead to extension candidates as 2023 free agency winds down

And other notable headlines surrounding America’s team.

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NFC Divisional Playoffs - Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Look Ahead: 24 Cowboys are entering contract seasons in 2023 - K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Failing to prepare means preparing to fail.

CB Stephon Gilmore | 2023 Cap Hit: $9.9 million

OT Tyron Smith | 2023 Cap Hit: $8 million

*DE Dorance Armstrong Jr. | 2023 Cap Hit: $7.25 million

Armstrong has a $1.5 million dead hit from a 2024 void year.

Safety Jayron Kearse | 2023 Cap Hit: $6.2 million

CB Jourdan Lewis | 2023 Cap Hit: $5.9 million

CB Trevon Diggs | 2023 Cap Hit: $4.8 million

* WR CeeDee Lamb | 2023 Cap Hit: $4.5 million

Lamb is eligible to receive the fifth-year option in May and would lose his ability to test the market until after 2024.

RT Terence Steele | 2023 Cap Hit: $4.3 million

Safety Malik Hooker | 2023 Cap Hit: $4.3 million

Edge Dante Fowler, Jr. | 2023 Cap Hit: $3 million

DT Neville Gallimore | 2023 Cap Hit: $3 million

Center Tyler Biadasz | 2023 Cap Hit: $2.9 million

ST C.J. Goodwin | 2023 Cap Hit: $1.1 million

OT Chuma Edoga | 2023 Cap Hit: $1.1 million

Edge Takk McKinley | 2023 Cap Hit: $1.1 million

RB Ronald Jones II | 2023 Cap Hit: $1.1 million

3 players Cowboys should hold off on giving contract extensions - Johnathan Otiker, The Landry Hat

So, of those 24 names, which players should Dallas hold off on?

3. Tony Pollard

With Ezekiel Elliott’s recent release, the dangers of big running back contracts are fresh in every Cowboys fan’s mind. While many viewed giving Pollard the franchise tag as a necessary evil to ensure having one viable offensive weapon on the team other than CeeDee Lamb in 2023, that does not mean the Cowboys should pursue an extension past this season.

Although the broken leg he suffered during the 49ers playoff game makes his future contract projection more difficult, if Pollard returns to form next season he will be looking to maximize his second contract as a former fourth round pick.

The Cowboys should heed the lessons learned from the Elliott contract and look for young replacements through the NFL Draft or complementary pieces through free agency. They’ve already done that in a sense with Ronald Jones, though he’ll likely battle for the third spot on the depth chart.

The current free agency class showed that functional starters can be had at a reasonable price and year after year starter level running backs are found on days two and three of the NFL Draft. Expect the Jones’ and Will McClay to add another piece to the RB room to compete with Malik Davis and fight for starting snaps in 2024.


There are several new faces on this team, both by way of trade and coaching hires. And fans should have faith in these moves.


You probably knew this man would pop up in the article. Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer will be able to show off his skills this season with the Cowboys.

Shortly after Head Coach Mike McCarthy fired Kellen Moore, Schottenheimer came into the light and was hired by Dallas. This hire made many fans have mixed emotions, such as feelings of anxiety.

Schottenheimer has had a history of unstable talent. One year, he’s coaching Russell Wilson to big wins with Seattle, and in another year he’s getting fired by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Seems like consistency isn’t on his side… Ever.

This isn’t something that fans should be concerned about though. A lot of the time, newer coaches find immediate success with teams they aren’t familiar with.

In this situation, it’s best to put your trust in many people rather than just one.

Fans should trust the offense overall than just Schottenheimer in general.

Schottenheimer is going to be a good coach, but it may take him and his fans a quick minute to get used to it all. This is fine though, as fans shouldn’t worry too much about this installment.

Ezekiel Elliott’s ‘Wish List’ Of Teams Showing Little Interest In Ex-Dallas Cowboys Running Back - DJ Siddiqi, Forbes

Cowboy Nation wishes nothing but the best for Elliott.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier in the week that Elliott had a wish list that mentioned three teams — the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals. The report also mentioned that Elliott had hoped to make his decision on his next club by the end of the week.

“Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliott has narrowed down his options about where to play to the Eagles, Jets and Bengals, and he would like to make his decision about where to sign by the end of next week, per sources,” reported Schefter on Thursday, March 23.

The problem is this — this is literally just a”wish list,” as John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported. In fact, Clark reports the Eagles haven’t had any conversations with Elliott and have shown no interest in signing the 27-year-old running back.

“I’m told as of right now the Eagles have not engaged in conversations with Ezekiel Elliott about joining the team and are happy with the running backs they have right now,” said Clark. “It seems the Eagles, Bengals, Jets are a wish list for Ezekiel Elliott and where he would like to play.”

Making matters even worse is that not only have the Eagles not show any interest in Elliott, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor publicly shut down the notion of adding the former star running back.

Julio Jones to Cowboys, Odds Say; ‘Marquee WR’ or ‘Big Name’? - Mike Fisher, Sports Illustrated

Dallas may not be done in their quest to equip Dak Prescott with more weapons.

It began in May 2021, when broke the story of then-superstar receiver Julio Jones - disgruntled in Atlanta - engaging in a workout here in Frisco.

The way we reported it at the time, it was entirely “unofficial” as it regarded the Dallas Cowboys. But we were told Dak Prescott was there for a throwing session with Dallas receivers …

And Jones, maybe the Falcons’ greatest player ever, was there as well.

And ever since then, as Jones’ career has naturally dipped (he’s now 34 and looking for his fourth team in four years), Julio has playfully teased then denied interest in signing with Dallas.

Are you ready for another tease?

For reasons we do not completely understand, Vegas oddsmakers have made the Cowboys the favorites to land Jones.

Paying premium price for kicker would be a bad investment if the Cowboys believe in Dak Prescott - Dan Rodgers, Blogging The Boys

Why settle for three when you can score seven?

While money can’t promise a reliable kicker, it doesn’t stop teams from trying to pay for it; however, usually, those are teams who rely heavily on their services. This offseason, there are two new high-priced kickers that have joined the top five highest-paid, and they are Indianapolis’ Matt Gay ($5.6 M annually) and Seattle’s Jason Myers ($5.3 M annually). It just so happens that the Colts and Seahawks both finished in the bottom five in red zone percentage. Teams that stall out and are forced to kick field goals have a bigger need for good kickers.

The Cowboys had the best red zone scoring percentage in the league last year. The Chiefs, who are paying a top-10 price for their kicker, had the second-best red zone % last season and Butker only made a total of 18 field goals last year. That ranked 31st in the league.

Not only is Dallas pretty darn good in the red zone, but Mike McCarthy is calling the plays now and they just added a very good WR2 in Brandin Cooks. If the Cowboys find themselves kicking a lot of field goals in 2023, then something has gone horribly wrong. It would bring back flashbacks of when the Cowboys become too conservative after crossing the 50-yard line because they knew they had the automatic Dan Bailey. It’s not a coincidence that Bailey’s lone All-Pro season was when the Cowboys finished second-worst in touchdowns scored.

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