3 worst contracts on the Cowboys roster heading into 2023

These contracts are holding the Cowboys back heading into the new season.
Jul 26, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) carries the ball
Jul 26, 2023; Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Gallup (13) carries the ball / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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As the Dallas Cowboys gear up for the 2023 season in Oxnard, CA, the front office is behind the scenes working towards new contracts for CeeDee Lamb and Zack Martin, and laying the groundwork for their star player Micah Parsons.

We know this because they were able to put pen to paper and get Trevon Diggs under contract. The players they are working on now, though, could be a little bit more difficult due to some current contracts that aren't doing the Cowboys any favors salary cap-wise.

These three players' contracts in particular should have been done in other ways. It's impossible to blame the players for this, obviously.

The brunt of the blame falls solely on the Jones family and their continued insistence on dragging out negotiations or just flat-out waiting too long to initiate the negotiation process. Now, they are sitting with these three contracts that may hinder them from getting others done. So let's take a look at the three worst contracts the Cowboys currently have on their roster.

3. Tony Pollard

If you want another example of the Cowboys' wait-and-see approach, look no further than Pollard's contract this season. While the majority of the running backs in the league are averaging around a $6 million salary in 2023, Pollard will make a guaranteed $10.1 million after he signed the franchise tag tender. No one reason they had to wait was due to their horrible contract with Ezekiel Elliott that tied up cap space with him on the roster.

The biggest reason Dallas had to wait on paying Pollard was due to their horrible Ezekiel Elliott extension that tied up cap space before his release.

The Cowboys had the entire 2021 and 2022 seasons to get Pollard under a team-friendly contract, or simply let him walk in free agency where he would have received less money than he is making right now. Thanks to backs like Austin Ekeler and Isiah Pacheco -- and myriad other examples -- teams aren't investing in the RB position like they did in the past.

Ekeler went undrafted and Pacheco was a seventh-round pick and both have proved two things: teams don't need to take a running back early in the draft, and you can find cheap and productive options after the draft in the undrafted free agency pool. The majority of teams around the league have figured this out.

The Cowboys, not so much.