4 star free agents in the Cowboys range after cap surge

The increase in cap space could help the Dallas Cowboys fill several holes through free agency

Azeez Al-Shaair
Azeez Al-Shaair / Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
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On Friday, every team in the NFL got a pleasant surprise when the 2024 salary cap was announced. The number this year went up significantly as each team will now be able to spend $255.4 million this year. For the Dallas Cowboys, this is huge since they have to work on extensions for Dak Prescott, Micah Parsons, and CeeDee Lamb.

As it stands now, Dallas is $9 million over the cap but those extensions should free up plenty of space as they will be able to spread the contracts out for the next few seasons. Thanks to the uptick in cap space, the money they free up will go much further. Here, we look at four free agents who are now all in their range thanks to this news.

4. D.J. Reader, NT, Cincinnati Bengals

Every Dallas fan has said a statement similar to this over the years — this team needs a run-stuffing nose tackle. They did go out and land Johnathan Hankins at the 2022 trade deadline and while he's been good when he's on the field, he's also been dealing with injuries and will turn 32 this year. Hankins, who is a free agent, could be retained, or the Cowboys could look for an upgrade.

If that's the path they chose, D.J. Reader is someone they should target. A 6-foot-3, 335-pounder from Clemson, Reader spent the past four seasons with the Cincinnatin Bengals. His numbers won't jump off the page but he's an absolute force int he run game.

Reader can clog lanes and eat up blockers with the best of them. The Cowboys originally wanted Mazi Smith to do this, but then they had their first-round pick from 2023 lose a bunch of weight and shift to a 3-tech. Hopefully, the addition of Mike Zimmer will rectify this but adding someone such as Reader on a one-or-two year deal for somewhere in the $13-$15 million range would ensure they improve immediately.