3 Cowboys who didn't live up to their contract in 2023

These Cowboys didn’t perform to their expectations in 2023.
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys
Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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Contracts are the primary focus right now for the Dallas Cowboys. They spent the entire offseason avoiding signing any and watched nearly all their free agents land one elsewhere. Even as they get through the offseason programs, the focus continues to be on contracts. This time, it’s the pending negotiations with Dak Prescott and CeeDee Lamb.

While the team is focused on figuring out the upcoming deals, let’s take a look back at 2023 and highlight three players who didn’t live up to their contracts.

3. Donovan Wilson, Safety

Donovan Wilson went from a late-round developmental piece to one of the biggest game-changers in the Cowboys secondary. In 2022, he went off with 101 tackles, five sacks, and an interception.

Wilson was rewarded for his success with a three-year deal worth $21 million. In the first year of the deal, his cap hit was just over $3.2 million but total cash value was more than $8 million. Unfortunately, his play didn't live up to the new status.

To be fair to Wilson, he wasn't the only safety to see a dip in production. Jayron Kearse also struggled in what proved to be his final season in Dallas. For Wilson, he saw his PFF grade fall from 71.3 in 2022 to 66.2 last year. He did have 88 tackles and two picks but recorded zero sacks and didn’t make as many splash plays as we saw the year prior.

There’s no cause for alarm with Wilson but he’s a player who needs to step it up slightly in 2024 for new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.