Ezekiel Elliot

Eight moves the Dallas Cowboys should make in 2023 NFL free agency

Home » NFL » Dallas Cowboys » Eight moves the Dallas Cowboys should make in 2023 NFL free agency

Dallas Cowboys’ free agency in 2023 figures to be a complicated topic. Even with an increase in the salary cap, the Cowboys are projected to be over the cap when the new league year begins.

Obviously, that could limit the Cowboys’ free-agent targets and keep Dallas from pursuing some of the best free agents available.

Cowboys free agency 2023

Cap space or not, the Cowboys have offseason needs to address just like any other offseason. One way or another, Dallas will have to figure some things out.

But what is the Cowboy’s offseason plan and what could Cowboys’ free agency in 2023 look like? Let’s take a close look at some of the movies the Cowboys could explore this offseason as Dallas attempts to remain a serious contender in the NFC.

Cut Ezekiel Elliot

This won’t be an easy move for the Cowboys after everything Ezekiel Elliott has done for the franchise. But given his declining role and production this past season combined with where the Cowboys sit financially, it’s a move that needs to be made.


Dallas gave Elliott a $90 million contract with $50 million guaranteed before the 2019 season, but with his best days likely behind him, Elliott doesn’t look like he’ll live up to the money that’s left on the deal. More importantly, the Cowboys can free up close to $11 million in cap space by cutting him. That added flexibility is more important in the short term than Elliott will be in 2023.

Re-sign Tony Pollard

With some of the money saved by cutting Elliott, the Cowboys can turn around and re-sign Tony Pollard. He’s a couple of years younger than Elliott and coming off a 1,000-yard season in which he averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

Rather than roll the dice on finding a suitable running back in the draft, the Cowboys should stay with the commodity that they know and make sure Pollard gets re-signed so that Dak Prescott has a familiar face in the backfield with him.

Cut Tyron Smith

Much like cutting Elliott, parting ways with Tyron Smith won’t be an easy emotional decision for Dallas. But in a football sense, it’s a move that has to be made.

Smith has done nothing but get hurt over the last three years, and at age 32, it’s hard to believe those injury issues will magically stop, even if he was still a Pro Bowler in 2021. Dallas has moved Smith away from his natural position with the emergence of Tyler Smith at left tackle, making Tyron Smith a little less valuable.


More importantly, cutting him after June 1 can save the Cowboys $13.6 million in cap space. That won’t help them make a splash early in free agency, but they’ll have money over the summer to fill out their roster with veterans and address the needs they don’t fill during the draft.

Restructure Zack Martin’s contract

If Smith is cut, the Cowboys can’t afford to lose Zack Martin from their offensive line. However, they will need to restructure his contract. Martin got a six-year extension worth $84 million prior to the 2018 season, and since he continues to be a perennial Pro Bowler, the Cowboys will be happy to keep Martin around if they can restructure the deal.

Dallas could save up to $9 million if they do that, keeping the lynchpin of their offensive line and giving them a little more money to spend this offseason.

Re-sign Leighton Vander Esch

Of the current Cowboys who are set for free agency, Leighton Vander Esch figures to be the team’s biggest priority, perhaps even more than Pollard. While he’s taken a back seat to Micah Parsons over the last couple of years, Vander Esch is still a key player in the middle of the Dallas defense.

Given their salary cap limitations, the Cowboys are unlikely to afford to pursue Tremaine Edmunds or Lavonte David, who are among the top linebackers available in free agency. One way or another, they’re going to need to add help at that position.

Vander Esch is a known commodity for them and a reliable player. There’s also a better chance he’ll give them a team-friendly contract that won’t take up too much cap space in 2023, giving them a little more flexibility.

Sign Randall Cobb

Unless the Cowboys are expecting a renaissance from Michael Gallup, they have to do something at wide receiver this offseason because CeeDee Lamb won’t be enough.

This could be a position Dallas targets early in the draft, but signing a free-agent receiver could be a good move too. Of course, with limited cap space, the Cowboys have to go bargain hunting, leading them to Randall Cobb. He had a decent year in Dallas in 2019, and while Cobb is nearly 33, he can still be a complementary receiving target.

Sign A’Shawn Robinson

As mentioned, the Cowboys need to be budget-conscious this offseason. They’ll also need reinforcements along the defensive line, making A’Shawn Robinson a good target.

He may not be coming off his best year, but Robinson is only 28 and should still have some good years ahead of him. The Cowboys should be able to sign Robinson or a similar player without breaking the bank, which is exactly what the Cowboys’ free agency in 2023 will be designed to do.

Sign Greedy Williams

Outside of Trevon Diggs, the Dallas secondary has some question marks heading into 2023. If nothing else, additional depth is needed at cornerback, making this position one that could be addressed in free agency. Of course, the Cowboys could try to work out a trade or address this position in the draft, although signing a player like Greedy Williams could make sense and fit their tight budget.

By no means did Williams live up to the hype of being a second-round pick in 2019. Missing the entire 2020 season didn’t help either. But he’s only 25 and still has some potential. Dallas might be able to sign him to a short-term deal for a reasonable salary that gives the Cowboys a cheap cornerback and gives Williams a chance to showcase himself.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *