3 worst moves of the Dallas Cowboys 2022 offseason

Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) /
2 of 3
Cowboys, LVE
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 08: Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys reacts after intercepting a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

2. Deciding to stay almost entirely internal with signings rather than explore the free-agent market

If only we could get a dollar for every time Stephen Jones told reporters that the Cowboys “weren’t done yet” in free agency. Throughout the offseason, the front office has mainly stuck with internal signings. While some were smart moves, such as extending Jayron Kearse after a breakout year, there were many others that were head-scratchers.

For example, the Cowboys decided to keep linebacker Leighton Vander Esch after they declined his fifth-year option and knowing that he hasn’t been the same player he was for the last few years. They also resigned very deep depth players like Luke Gifford and Jeremy Sprinkle who provided next to nothing in the 2021 season.

With gaps to fill in almost every major position group, you’d think the front office would have been looking more intensely at free agent options. Sure, it may not have been financially sound to sign an overly expensive guy like Von Miller, but there were plenty of other players at OL, WR, DE, and LB that were available and would have been affordable.

Even after the draft, guys like Anthony Barr, Linval Joseph, and Akiem Hicks were still on the board.  The fact that the Cowboys only brought in three external free agents when they needed starting-level talent to replace Cooper, Collins, and Randy Gregory doesn’t seem wise. James Washington could be a decent WR3, but it’s not like he’s had any breakout years. Dante Fowler Jr. has struggled for the last few seasons. And, Ryan Nall has very few stats/playing time in his NFL career. For them to think Washington could replace Cooper or Fowler could replace Gregory is a bit absurd.

If the Cowboys didn’t have the talent internally, they should have cut players and gotten what they needed elsewhere. Instead they made a bunch of internal signings, most of whom will be on the depth chart.