Cowboys Free Agency Update

Dallas Cowboys Helmet
Dallas Cowboys Helmet | Image by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The business side of the NFL often crushes fans’ hopes and dreams during the offseason, and it all begins with free agency and trades.

The Dallas Cowboys have been relatively quiet on collecting talent but have seen several popular players take their skills elsewhere. The Cowboys will go into next month’s NFL Draft with significant needs and eight picks, but as Tom Ryle and Roy A. White III wrote for Blogging the Boys, the pattern is typical of the Cowboys’ offseason moves in years past.

“The overall strategy for roster building is to rely on the draft for the best talent while using bargain-bin free agent shopping to plug holes with patches rather than real solutions,” they wrote before adding that the Cowboys have acquired players through free agency and signed undrafted free agents in years past at team-friendly prices.

Four players have left the team for NFC East rivals thus far. Dorance Armstrong, Dante Fowler, Tyler Biadasz, and Noah Igbinoghene all signed with former defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and the Washington Commanders. Biadasz was the starting center the last three seasons and was a Pro Bowl selection last season.

Tyron Smith has been one of the more controversial players for fans over the last few seasons. He is one of the best left tackles in the league when he is healthy and on the field. The problem has been that he has rarely been at full health and missed several games last season due to injury. However, the Cowboys now need to fill a void as he has departed for the New York Jets.

Smith explained that the opportunity to block for quarterback Aaron Rodgers was one of the factors that made him decide to leave the Cowboys. He was the longest-tenured player on the team.

“I saw that, what they [the Jets] can do as far as the team, and everyone wants to win as any team does,” Smith said to Heavy.com. “I just feel like they have all the pieces together right now with the final pieces this offseason to produce a team that could go all the way.”

The Cowboys also lost linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, who medically retired this offseason. Vander Esch has dealt with neck issues since college and ended the 2023 season suffering from yet another. His loss to the team created a hole at linebacker that needed to be addressed, and it was the one move the Cowboys made.

Dallas signed former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Eric Kendricks, who brings a veteran presence to the team and is a reliable leader. He had four sacks, 117 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and missed only 6% of his tackles last year, as reported by Blogging the Boys.

Dallas also experienced a massive upheaval in the coaching room with the departure of Quinn and the hiring of former Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer. The Cowboys currently have about $5.5 million in cap space to begin addressing some of the holes left by free agency, though it seems unlikely the team will make big moves before the draft that begins April 25.

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