Now that the Super Bowl is done and the NFL Combine is next week, the offseason is officially here for all 32 NFL teams. Every year each club has to figure out which free agents they will keep, what cuts they need to make, what positions to prioritize in the draft, and what they can do based on their salary cap to make their team better the following year. The Dallas Cowboys have a lot up in the air for each of those categories.
The Cowboys have 24 players heading into free agency in March. Because they are currently third-worst in the league in terms of salary cap, figuring out who they can keep and who they need to cut is a legitimate concern. Plus, there are plenty of positional needs they will have to fill in order to improve next season. The harsh reality is that this roster could look very different for the start of the 2022 season. Given that the Cowboys were expected to go far this year due to their impressive roster, this could mean big problems for Dallas.
Before free agency officially starts, rumors and buzz will loom large among the various NFL analysts and media outlets about where free agents will end up and how much money they are actually worth. Dallas actually has a long list of players in Pro Football Focus’s top 100 free agent list. But keeping every single free agent simply isn’t possible.
On Monday, PFF released a list of where they predict the top 50 free agents will end up this offseason. Unfortunately, Cowboys fans are not going to be happy with PFF’s predictions. The football site has Dallas losing three integral pieces of the roster. Let’s take a deeper look at those players and where the site predicts they’ll end up.
PFF predicts Cowboys will lose these 3 big stars to other NFL teams in free agency
3. Randy Gregory, DE
The consensus among Cowboys fans on whether or not Randy Gregory is a free agent priority seems to be mixed. Some believe keeping him on the roster is far more important than keeping a guy like Dalton Schultz. Others think Gregory is injury prone and didn’t put up good enough numbers this year.
Regardless of what you think, PFF predicts that Gregory will be surprisingly poached by the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have an incredibly impressive defensive front with names like DeForest Buckner, Darius Leonard, and Grover Stewart. Kwity Paye is an extremely effective pass rusher, but adding a guy like Gregory on the other side would only amplify the Colts defense more. With only 33 sacks last season, the Colts were the seventh-worst in that category in the league.
Indy has drafted several defensive ends over the past couple of years, but none of them have entirely panned out how they expected them to. While you’d think the Colts would want to focus on helping the offense, signing Gregory to help them finally get a consistent pass rush would be very helpful. Plus, unlike the Cowboys, the Colts are sitting at eighth-best in terms of cap space. They have over $36 million to spend. And, Indianapolis is likely to lose Al-Quadin Muhammad who Gregory is arguably better than.
The other factor here is that the Colts just signed Gus Bradley to replace defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus who is now the head coach of the Chicago Bears. PFF says that Bradley is known for a rush four and play Cover 3 scheme. This idea only works when the pass rush is strong. Gregory could help allow Bradley’s plan to succeed.