Dallas Cowboys: Key upcoming offseason dates and notes

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 23: Philip Rivers
ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 23: Philip Rivers /

The 2017 NFL season is history and the dead period has begun. Key dates are approaching to heat things up for the Dallas Cowboys.

It’s hard to imagine a more bitter ending for Dallas Cowboys fans than to watch the despised Philadelphia Eagles lift their first Lombardi Trophy.

Fortunately the NFL world has the attention span of a sugared up two year old. Thirty teams are eyeing 2018 desires and the Super Bowl participants will soon follow.

The real fireworks won’t begin until March 14th ushers in the 2018 league year. However, there are surrounding key dates that will shape the Cowboys roster.


Franchise tag candidate: DeMarcus Lawrence

Restricted free agents: David Irving, Keith Smith

  • February 20 – First day to designate franchise or transition players
  • March 6 – Deadline to designate franchise or transition players
  • March 14 – Teams must submit qualifying offer to restricted free agents

Notes: Lawrence will receive the franchise tag by March 6th. Yet the two sides have until July 16th to agree to a contract extension or sign the one-year franchise deal.

On March 14th, qualifying RFA offers to Irving and Smith will be revealed. Though they have until the April 20th deadline to sign offer sheets.


February 27 – March 5

In less than three weeks Cowboys management, coaches, scouts, and fans will get a closer look at the most promising college prospects.

Offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, safety, and wide receiver will draw heavy attention. But in truth there’s not a single position (besides K/P) Dallas will ignore.

Even quarterback and running back could use depth in the later rounds. Tight end is certainly not out of the question and corner is always of interest.


March 14

  • 2018 league year officially begins
  • All 2017 player contracts expire at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern)
  • Top 51 2018 contracts must be under salary cap
  • Trading period and free agency begins at 4:00 p.m.


April 26-28

The Dallas Cowboys will host the draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.

By May 4 (start of rookie minicamp), Dallas will know who their 2018 rookies will be, both drafted and undrafted free agents. Most notable free agent signings will have taken place. Plus the fate of David Irving should be decided.

Next: 16 final thoughts about America’s Team in 2017

The only potentially lingering, major roster question mark will be Lawrence. His future time with Dallas (one year tag or multiple year extension) may still be unresolved.