3 Cowboys already on the chopping block as OTAs get underway

Dallas Cowboys, Hunter Luepke
Dallas Cowboys, Hunter Luepke / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Royce Freeman, Running Back

It wasn't a popular move when the Cowboys signed Royce Freeman ahead of the NFL Draft but it was a smart one. There were those who were furious over their inactivity in free agency when it came to running backs but they seemed to be the one team who realized that backs are easily replaceable. And after they were burnt with the Ezekiel Elliott deal, it's a breath of fresh air to see them avoid breaking the bank at the position.

Freeman isn't an elite player but he averaged 4.1 yards per attempt in 2023 for the Los Angeles Rams. His presence meant Dallas didn't need to reach for a back and while they might regret skipping on Marshawn Lloyd, it's hard to say they didn't do a solid job when it came to their selections.

As for their plan of attack in the ground game in 2024, Dallas will have a backfield-by-committee approach. They could feature the 238-pound veteran in that mix but he's not guaranteed a spot. Freeman, who has 1,792 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career, hasn't been consistent, averaging 2.8 yards per attempt in 11 games with Houston before heading to L.A. last year.

He has the talent to turn it around but it's also easy to see a scenario where he falls behind Ezekiel Elliott, Rico Dowdle, and Deuce Vaughn. If that happens, Freeman might not be able to make it to the 53-man roster.

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