3 worst moves the Cowboys will regret from 2023 offseason

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Don't overreact after reading the headline. The Dallas Cowboys' deserve an A+ for the offseason they've put together.

They once again stayed away from signing external free agents, but prioritized their own pivotal players -- Donovan Wilson chief among them -- as well as Leighton Vander Esch and Johnathan Hankins. Similarly, they deserve praise for cutting Ezekiel Elliott and allowing Connor McGovern to pursue a starter's salary.

Trading for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks was the icing on the cake. They bring a winning pedigree, years of producing at a high-level and veteran leadership to a locker room that hopes to one day win a Super Bowl.

Of course, no team ever has a "perfect" offseason. While the Cowboys did yeoman's work the last several months in terms of improving the team's Super Bowl odds, there are a few moves they might regret once the new season starts.

3 moves from 2023 offseason the Cowboys will regret

3. Letting Carlos Watkins leave

It's impossible to quantify Watkins' value in stats. The came can be said for most nose tackles and interior defenders who don't rush the quarterback.

Watkins was buried on the depth chart early last season. He didn't log a single snap in five of the first six games. With Neville Gallimore and Quinton Bohanna struggling to make an impact, though, Watkins climbed up the pecking order and enjoyed a nearly 40% snap share over the final 10 games.

In 12 games, Watkins produced 26 tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble. Those stats don't scream elite DT and he scored middling grades from Pro Football Focus, but Watkins -- along with Johnathan Hankins -- were a revelation defending the run for Dan Quinn's defense.

The Cowboys wanted Watkins back, but they re-signed Hankins first and Watkins swiftly inked a contract with the Cardinals in free agency.

Dallas' can't be blamed too much for Watkins' departure, and the selection of Mazi Smith will help overcome his absence, but we'd feel a lot better about the DT group if they managed to re-sign the former fourth-round pick.