The Dallas Cowboys have followed a very similar pattern in free agency over the past couple of seasons. They worry about signing in-house free agents first and then look to sign other free agents on cheap one-year deals.
This offseason, the Cowboys started extending their own players first. They signed Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch, and Cooper Rush to multi-year deals and CJ Goodwin to a one-year contract.
They have already lost players like Noah Brown, Luke Gifford, and Connor McGovern and are also expected to lose Dalton Schultz this offseason.
Dallas has yet to sign an outside free agent on the market. But they have traded for veterans Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks. Gilmore gives the Cowboys another outside cornerback to complement Trevon Diggs in the secondary, and Cooks gives Prescott another big-time weapon.
The Cowboys have also made moves to their current roster by releasing running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott has been in Dallas since he was drafted in 2016 and now will find a new home for the first time in his career.
Elliott’s release is designated as a June 1 roster move and the Cowboys will save $10.9 million toward their 2023 cap space. Dallas will also obtain $6.04 million in dead cap during the 2024 season.
With the moves that Dallas has made so far in free agency, the outlook of their first round has also changed.
3 new first-round targets for Cowboys after flurry of moves
3. O’Cyrus Torrence, OG, Florida
The Cowboys enter the season with their offensive line fully intact. Tyler Smith and Tyron Smith will likely start on the left side, Zack Martin and Terence Steele on the right, and Tyler Biadasz up the middle.
But as evidenced by last season, the Cowboys can’t have too many offensive linemen on their roster.
Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are both getting up there in age, so Dallas should be prepping its offensive line for the future. Also, add in the fact that Smith hasn’t played a full season since 2015 and has played in just 17 games over the past three years.
That’s why drafting an offensive lineman with the 26th overall pick is not out of the question. O’Cyrus Torrence would be the perfect selection for the Cowboys at that spot.
Torrence is ranked on ESPN as the number one guard in the 2023 NFL Draft class and the 36th overall prospect. The 6-foot-5 lineman would come in and learn behind some of the best players in football in both Martin and Smith.
In his senior year at Florida, Torrence did not give up a single sack and finished the season as one of the best running-blocking linemen in the country. He ranked number one in running block grade (91.7) among all guards in the power five conferences, according to PFF.
With Mike McCarthy wanting to establish the run more, Torrence could be a huge asset for the Cowboys this upcoming season and in the future.
While Steele is still recovering from a torn ACL, his availability for Week 1 could be in jeopardy. So, Torrence could fill in easily and still give Dallas one of the best offensive lines in football. The Florida prospect would fit right in as a physical player.
His selection would also help give the Cowboys a top-tier offensive line unit for years to come, even with Martin and Smith both reaching the end of their careers.