NFL Offseason Previews: Dallas Cowboys
The NFL offseason is upon us, and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews, we will look at what each team has to work with and their biggest needs. Today we continue with the Dallas Cowboys offseason preview.
As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:
- March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag
- March 13: legal tampering period opens
- March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts
- April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets
- April 27-29: NFL draft
- May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
- July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension
You can find previous team’s offseason previews here: Bears | Bengals | Browns | Lions | Packers | Steelers | Vikings | Ravens | 49ers | Broncos | Rams | Chargers | Seahawks | Raiders | Cardinals | Chiefs | Dolphins | Eagles | Giants | Jets |
With the Philadelphia Eagles running away with the NFC East, the Cowboys had to settle for a Wild Card spot after winning 12 games in 2022. Dallas earned a road date against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers for their efforts.
There was plenty of concerns heading into that game about Dak Prescott’s troubling interception rates down the stretch in the regular season. Prescott answered the call with one of his best performances of his career. Dallas dominated Tampa Bay, ending the Buccaneers season, and eventually, Brady’s career.
But once again this season, the 49ers were too much for Dallas. The Cowboys season ended in the divisional round against the 49ers, just as it did last year.
Key Positional Needs
Here’s where the Cowboys need to find help this offseason:
Key Free Agents
Here’s a look at the Cowboys upcoming key free agents:
- Anthony Barr (OLB)
- Dante Fowler Jr. (DE)
- Johnathan Hankins (DT)
- Tony Pollard (RB)
- Leighton Vander Esch (LB)
- Dalton Schultz (TE)
- Trayvon Mullen (CB)
- Anthony Brown (CB)
Salary Cap & Draft Capital
Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the Cowboys have to work with this offseason:
- Current draft picks: 26 (1), 58 (2), 90 (3), 129 (4), 163 (5), 170 (5), 176 (5), 212 (6), 246 (7)
- Cap space: -$17.1M
Dallas has a big decision to make at running back this offseason. Tony Pollard is a free agent this offseason. Pollard led Cowboys running backs in rushing yards (1,007) and yards per carry (5.2) and was second on the team in yards from scrimmage (1,378).
Ezekiel Elliott is under contract, but Pollard is the younger, and better option at this point. They’d like to keep both, but Spotrac estimates Pollard’s market value is $8.4 million per year, and that would give Dallas two of the NFL’s highest paid running backs.
Dallas is also $17.1 million over the cap entering free agency, so they have to do some work to get under the cap before they can begin to address the running back situation.
Dallas also has some big decisions to make on other free agents like linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, tight end Dalton Schultz, and linebacker Anthony Barr.
If you’re looking for more offseason reading, Sam Hoppen at 4for4 (our sister company) is previewing each division: