1. Daron Payne, DT (Commanders)
It’s not in the Cowboys DNA to spend big on outsiders in free agents, but Payne would be worth the price of admission. Just ask Micah Parsons, who listed Payne by name was the one free agent he wants Dallas to sign this offseason.
Outside of receiver and cornerback, defensive tackle is the Cowboys’ biggest need. Payne is the top player on the market at the position. In 2022, he ranked third amongst DTs in defensive stops, fourth in tackles for loss, and posted career highs with 11 sacks, 49 pressures, quarterback hits, TFLs, and passes defended.
Having missed one game in his career, Payne is as durable as they come for defensive linemen. In fact, he’s played the most snaps of any interior defender since 2020, and the third-most since his rookie campaign in 2018.
It’d be a surprise if the Commanders let him reach the open market after they opted against trading him at the 2022 deadline. The only factors working in the Cowboys favor, however, are the fact Washington already extended fellow DT Jonathan Allen, and has the futures of Montez Sweat and Chase Young to consider.