Now that the Dallas Cowboys offseason is here, the team-building process starts over. A 12-5 season (again), resulting in a playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers (again). This time in the divisional round.
Both free agency and the NFL Draft are coming up. The Cowboys will go into both with questions surrounding holes at certain positions, or simply needing upgrades.
Starting with players on the team, who probably shouldn’t any longer.
Whether it’s career attrition or value versus output, the Dallas Cowboys have a few players on their squad who would do the organization better from departure.
Let’s start financially. At the moment, the Cowboys are just barely over the cap at $223,000, according to Over The Cap.
Two of the biggest culprits who’s futures in Dallas are in question are OT Tyron Smith and RB Ezekiel Elliott. With a combined $34.3 million cap hit for 2023.
The largest cap savings would come as a post-June 1st designation. Either releasing or trading would result in saving a combined $24.5 million in cap space. Neither owed guaranteed money.
Elliott no longer has the burst he once had and paying a running back $11 million to be a pass blocker and short yardage back is borderline malpractice. Even if Elliott wants to come back, it doesn’t make the offense better.
Ezekiel Elliott wants to stay with the Cowboys in 2023, and he is willing to accept a pay cut in order to achieve that, a person familiar with his thinking said today. https://t.co/IeMv3mpnQU— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) January 24, 2023
Amazingly, despite the fact that Smith has only played a season’s worth of games (17) over the last three years combined, and hasn’t played a full season since before QB Dak Prescott was even drafted, he does still have some trade value.
Playing right tackle upon his return from injury, he may net a draft package of sorts to a tackle-needy team. Once Terence Steele returns from injury, the Dallas Cowboys can’t afford to go back to Smith.
The running game is almost two yards per carry off the right tackle between Tyron and Steele, taking a hit following his season-ending injury.
Both players are potential Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor players someday, with Tyron as a sure-fire future Hall of Famer. However, we cannot trust them to take meaningful snaps that we once did.
They deserve to go out with respect, but keeping them on the roster hurts the cap, the depth and any other potential this team has in its Championship window.
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement of USA TODAY Sports