One of the most critical early tasks of the new Dallas Cowboys coaching regime will be deciding which of their own free agents must be retained.
The Dallas Cowboys roster has a whopping 24 unrestricted free agents to sort through and decide if their value and services are worth retaining.
Plenty of the names on this list played a big role in the starting units in 2019. With a new coaching regime and changes in philosophy, it will be interesting to see which players are deemed a valuable system fit.
There will be much debate and disagreements from fans on this topic, but here’s my take on what should happen. Noting that my preferences won’t always reflect what I believe the team will do.
TIER 1 – COUNT ON RETURNING
Prescott and Cooper both want to be in Dallas and the team greatly values them. Dak is the face of the franchise and ownership is set on keeping it that way. Cooper cost a first round pick to attain. No way they part with that high pick for a 25-game rental. Ladouceur is steady as rock at deep snapper and will be offered until he retires.
TIER 2 – DESIRED IF THE VALUE FITS
Quinn has experience in both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses. If a 3-4 weak side OLB is needed, he would fit the role. 11.5 sacks will insure he gets an offer. Lee is another player with experience in both defensive fronts. He still has worth as a back-up and teacher.
Brown is versatile and a worthy third corner if the money makes sense. Heath will be valued by new special teams coordinator John Fassel. His value as a back-up safety with fill-in starter potential helps his case.
Cobb and Thomas both played for Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. It’s not uncommon for a new coach to want familiar faces around to help run and teach his systems. Forbath showed very well in late kicking duties but will have to compete for the job.
TIER 3 – MOVING ON
Byron Jones (CB)
Maliek Collins (DT)
Jason Witten (TE)
Michael Bennett (DE)
Xavier Su’a-Filo (G)
Tavon Austin (WR)
Christian Covington (DT)
Kerry Hyder (DE)
Malcolm Smith (LB)
Darian Thompson (S)
Justin March (LB)
Kavon Frazier (S)
C.J. Goodwin (CB)
Ray-Ray Armstrong (LB)
This group contains players who are either too old, will retire, cost won’t match value, or they just don’t add enough to the new equation. There may be a few lesser names who return for cheap on back-up, special teams roles, but don’t expect many.