It is often said that you cannot win them all and if you apply that logic to free agency then you cannot bring them all back. We have seen the Cowboys make a few emotional yet difficult decisions since the new league year began. The cover move for that book was undoubtedly releasing Ezekiel Elliott, but the Cowboys also let players like Dalton Schultz and Noah Brown walk (both incidentally to the Houston Texans) which could not have been easy given that they came up through the Cowboys system.
That the Cowboys have acted unemotionally so far in free agency has been what people have praised them for, and that disposition is part of what leads to decisions to not bring certain players back. Of course, that philosophy is also what leads to the Cowboys bringing certain players back at certain prices, a recent example was Dallas locking defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins down to a one-year deal earlier this week.
There had been chatter that Hankins would not be the only defensive tackle to return to the team this coming season, unfortunately what felt likely is now not happening at all.
Carlos Watkins is headed to the Arizona Cardinals
When the owners meetings began earlier this week the Cowboys spoke about their desire to return both Johnathan Hankins and Carlos Watkins. As noted, the former is back, but the latter now has a new home. The Arizona Cardinals announced late on Thursday night that they have secured his services.
We have agreed to terms with DL Carlos Watkins on a one-year contract.— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) March 31, 2023
It is a one-year deal for Watkins in Arizona. At the time of this publishing contract details are not available, but it is worth noting Hankins’ one-year deal is worth up to $1.5M so it stands to reason Watkins got something in that neck of the woods.
Carlos Watkins was a very good player for the Cowboys over the last two years and helped provide some stability along the middle of Dan Quinn’s defensive line when there otherwise was not much. He will be missed, but with Hankins returning the void is obviously not as large.