3 Cowboys make PFF’s most underrated free agent list
Free agency is officially underway, and as always, everyone has opinions. The Dallas Cowboys had an incredibly disappointing season, yet according to Pro Football Focus, three of their free agents are the most underrated options at their position. PFF released a list of the most overrated and underrated players at every NFL position. Three cowboys made the list. Two make sense and one seems a bit surprising. Let’s go through them.
Dallas Cowboys underrated player: Dalton Schultz, TE
At this position, Evan Engram was listed as the most overrated, and Schultz was listed as the most underrated. As we know, Schultz is very unlikely to hit free agency as the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on him on Tuesday. However, teams can still technically send two first-round picks or make other offers to Dallas in exchange for Schultz. For now, he will likely play 2022 under the $10.9 million tag price set for tight ends.
Initially, the Cowboys weren’t going to tag Schultz. But when news broke that Blake Jarwin wouldn’t be fully healthy for the start of 2022, Dallas was given few options. Two other tight ends were tagged on Tuesday and everyone else in the pool was more expensive or less talented.
PFF claims that Schultz is “arguably the best tight end available in free agency,” which is high praise for a guy who barely had any playing time last year. The tight end is also young and has proven his durability, which is a quality that (as seen with Jarwin) is hard to find at the position.
The Cowboy ranked sixth or higher at tight end in 2021 in terms of drop rate (3.4%), contested catch rate (63.2%), and broken tackles after the catch (13). With over $10 million on the line, Dallas hopes that Schultz can have another highly successful year in 2022.
Dallas Cowboys underrated player: Randy Gregory, Edge
At edge rusher, the most overrated free agent was Harold Landry III and the most underrated player was Gregory. Although teams might shy away from Gregory due to off-the-field miscues and suspensions, on the field he was a huge asset for the Cowboys’ defense. Gregory is explosive, quick in lateral moves, and is a great rotational pass rusher.
Many fans and analysts felt that Gregory would be the most deserving Cowboys unrestricted free agent to receive the franchise tag, but it ultimately went to Schultz. In 11 games, Gregory had one interception, 6.0 sacks, 29 QB pressures, 12 QB hurries, and 11 QB knockdowns.
Gregory certainly has a future in the NFL, but it may or may not be with Dallas. If the team chooses to cut fellow edge DeMarcus Lawrence, the chances are better for Gregory. However, there is a lot up in the air still. It is also important to note that Gregory underwent knee surgery back in January. He is expected to be ready for preseason play, though.
Dallas Cowboys underrated player: Connor Williams, Guard
This one is puzzling. PFF seems to really love Connor Williams despite leading the league in holding penalties, getting benched mid-year, and getting burned several times in games. Yet, he is indeed listed as PFF’s most underrated offensive guard with Bradley Bozeman being the most overrated. While you can’t deny that Williams is young and has talent, his abilities are constantly overshadowed by penalties. With as many as he collected, it does matter.
PFF did note the issues that come with Williams, but they also said those facts will likely make him a bargain. In PFF’s grading system, the guard finished top-ten at the position (75.2 overall grade). If Williams can lower his penalty rate, he would be great on another team. That team just isn’t going to be the Cowboys.
There has been zero talk about the Cowboys making moves to keep Williams. It will be interesting to see how he performs on another offensive line next year.