The Dallas Cowboys are $7.055 million over the cap for 2023. They have plenty of potential avenues to get under the salary cap before the start of the new league year, but odds are they won’t have ample money to throw around in free agency when you account for re-signings, contract extensions, and the 2023 draft class.
That’s not to say the Cowboys should go bargain-bin shopping, but we’re all aware Jerry Jones doesn’t love spending like a drunken sailor.
That means Dallas should turn over every stone to improve their roster. That includes browsing the cap casualty market. Teams release players in droves before free agency in the name of freeing up cap space, and the same can be expected this year with nearly half the league (14 teams) over the cap.
That includes the LA Chargers, who are $20 million over the cap. This will force general manager Tom Telesco into some cutthroat decisions.
According to Chargers writer Daniel Popper of The Athletic, one of those moves might include releasing star wide receiver Keenan Allen.
The Cowboys should pursue wide receiver Keenan Allen if he’s released by the Chargers.
Popper listed six Chargers players who may become cap casualties. The most likely candidates in Popper’s eyes are Allen, tight end Gerald Everett and left guard Matt Feiler. Should Popper’s Allen prediction manifest itself before free agency, the Cowboys should be ALL over signing the veteran receiver.
Allen isn’t the player he was during his prime, but he was never overly reliant on athleticism. That bodes well for his production entering his age-31 season. Allen made five straight Pro Bowls spanning 2017-21, and likely would’ve added a sixth to his resume if not for a hamstring injury upending his 2022 campaign.
In 10 games, Allen still posted 66 catches for 752 yards and four scores.
Even on the wrong side of 30, Allen is still one of the NFL’s premier possession receivers. The Cowboys undoubtedly need to add a vertical dimension to their passing game, but they need receivers to get open for Dak Prescott first and foremost (CeeDee Lamb notwithstanding), and that’s Allen’s speciality.
We normally wouldn’t bang the drum for a receiver north of 30 years old, but the free agent market for WRs is extremely barren. The top options include Odell Beckham Jr., who just turned 30 and has had two ACL surgeries to the same knee, Allen Lazard, Parris Campbell (extensive injury history), and Jakobi Meyers.
Allen might be the most attractive of that bunch given his track record. Prior to 2022, he’s played at least 14 games in all but two seasons. He’s surpassed 100 catches four times in his career, and had a season with 97 catches. From 2017-21, he logged 6.5 catches for 75.9 yards per game.
Again, Allen isn’t the vertical threat the Cowboys need, but he’s an elite possession receiver, and Dallas’ non-CeeDee Lamb wideouts were a disaster as far as creating separation in man coverage and producing yards after the catch.
Who says no?