Dallas Cowboys 2023 free agency primer: Main targets, internal free agents

Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Donovan Wilson, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Dec 26, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Shaquill Griffin (26) celebrates a defensive stop during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys needs, potential targets

First up, the needs. And there are a lot.

Dallas won 12 games in 2022 and while Dak Prescott continued to take the heat when they failed, he was really done dirty by the front office. They traded Amari Cooper for a bag of Funyuns (which aren’t even that good) and did practically nothing to replace him.

They also put him behind a patchwork offensive line when they failed to prepare for a Tyron Smith injury, despite the fact that he’s not played a full season since 2015. To make matters worse, Jerry Jones somehow blames Prescott for their issues as he’s somehow upset about paying one of the only players earning his high-priced contract.

Heading into 2023, they’re going to need to get Prescott some help. Keeping Pollard is huge but they need more pass catchers on offense and some O-line depth. As for defense, they need it all.

Dallas Cowboys needs ranked

Right now, the Cowboys’ biggest needs are as follows:

Wide Receiver
Tight End
Defensive Tackle
Offensive Line

Offensive targets

Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
Parris Campbell, WR, Indianapolis Colts
Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
Darius Slayton, WR, New York Giants
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR, Los Angeles Rams
Foster Moreau, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
Irv Smith, Jr., TE, Minnesota Vikings
Will Hernandez, G, Arizona Cardinals

Offensive Trade Targets

Brandin Cooks, WR, Houston Texans
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
Elijah Moore, WR, New York Jets

Defensive targets

Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE, Indianapolis Colts
L.J. Collier, EDGE, Seattle Seahawks
Poona Ford, DT, Seattle Seahawks
Taven Bryan, DT, Cleveland Browns
Teair Tart, DT, Tennessee Titans
Bobby Okereke, LB, Indianapolis Colts
Deion Jones, LB, Cleveland Browns
Shaquill Griffin, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Atlanta Falcons
Byron Murphy, CB, Arizona Cardinals
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Detroit Lions
Jabrill Peppers, S, New England Patriots
Nasir Adderley, S, Los Angeles Chargers
Taylor Rapp, S, Los Angeles Rams

The list of possible targets is long simply because there are so many needs right now. It might make financial sense for Dallas to continue to fork out the one-year contracts but it’s having a negative effect on the roster. Far too many positions are in need of depth right now and continue to have a revolving door.

In order to address this, they have to once again find some value additions. That means it’s unlikely they go after some of the big names but perhaps a tier-two pass rusher like Yannick Ngakoue or an ascending nose tackle in Teair Tart could be added. There are also a couple of fall-back plans if they lose Wilson, including Taylor Rapp and Jabrill Peppers.

On offense, Will Hernandez could be a good replacement for Connor McGovern and there will be a few options at wide receiver as well. The hope is none get too pricey, but as we saw with Christian Kirk in 2022, that could happen in a hurry.

Potential trade targets to watch include Elijah Moore and DeAndre Hopkins. While Hopkins would be more impactful and has made a pitch to head to Dallas, Moore is younger, faster, and more affordable. The last part will mean the most to Stephen Jones.