1. Cowboys let both RBs walk and still improve their ground game
As poorly as Dallas handled the contract disputes for Dak Prescott, DeMarcus Lawrence, and Dalton Schultz, nothing compares to how horribly they messed up the Ezekiel Elliott negotiations.
Not only did Dallas cave into him when he skipped out on camp, but they let him jump ahead of the quarterback who had to wait to get paid. And unlike every other team that’s giving running backs deals with an out after two seasons, Dallas gave Elliott a six-year extension that didn’t even begin for another two years.
Unsurprisingly, Elliott has done what every running back does — he’s worn down and was under four yards per carry this past season. He might have had 12 touchdowns but the majority of those were short-yardage after Tony Pollard did the heavy lifting.
Speaking of Pollard, he’s now a free agent and Dallas has a huge decision to make there. While Pollard is a huge weapon, paying him a big contract is a scary proposition after what they’ve seen with Zeke. And perhaps the Cowboys will finally learn from the past and avoid overpaying.
This prediction is that they first release Elliott, saving themselves nearly $11 million in the process. Then due to the previously-mentioned contract for Schultz, they allow Pollard to walk.
It would be a tough pill to swallow but they can still improve their running game — especially if they land someone such as Bijan Robinson in the draft as some are starting to predict.
Robinson would give them a much more dominant rushing attack and they would have control of his contract for the next five seasons. Throw all this together and their offense would look significantly better in 2023.