3 Cowboys free agents likely gone in 2024 (and 2 who will be back)

Dallas Cowboys v San Francisco 49ers
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The Cowboys have some tough decisions ahead of them this offseason. Contracts are coming due on players like Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons. Since all three are expected to reset their respective market, cuts will likely be needed elsewhere to balance the books.

With the coaching staff also in flux, things look especially tenuous for several internal free agents. Who will follow their respective coaches out of town and who will stay on with fresh contracts will be a topic for debate in coming weeks and months.

For as disappointing as the Cowboys’ upset loss was, it doesn’t warrant a complete teardown. The nucleus of the team is expected to return and aside from possible leadership changes, the churn will primarily come at the bottom of the roster.

But with so many internal players set to hit free agency in 2024, some key starters are sure to be gone as well. Without knowing exactly who will be coaching in Dallas and what scheme they will be using, it’s difficult to project with certainty who fits into the Cowboys plans in 2024 and beyond. But based on universal needs, the roster itself, and predicted salary demands, some informed predictions can be made. Starters on both sides of the ball are sure to leave even if their eventual replacements aren’t clear at the moment.

Cowboys FA who will be gone: Stephon Gilmore, CB

Stephon Gillmore was an absolute steal for the Cowboys this past season. Acquired in a March trade that sent a fifth rounder to Indianapolis for the former Defensive Player of the Year, one could say Gilmore saved Dallas’ season. Had the veteran not been on hand after Trevon Diggs was lost to a season-ending injury, the Cowboys would have been easy pickings for opposing passing attacks.

As luck would have it, DaRon Bland also stepped up enormously in Diggs’ stead, and cemented his future as the Cowboys CB2 going forward.

In a dream world where money doesn’t matter, the Cowboys would love to bring Gilmore back and have Bland move back into his role inside as CB3. But Bland's ascent as a dominant boundary CB make that a luxury move the Cowboys would have a hard time justifying when so many tough decisions must be made elsewhere.

With the defensive coordinator likely to change in 2024, Gilmore will be inclined to look for the best opportunity he can find to finish his career. At 34, he still has something left in the tank as a player and his high character and high IQ make him a valuable asset on the market. With Jourdan Lewis also likely to leave Dallas, the Cowboys will have their work cut out for them rounding out the CB position group in 2024.