5 players Cowboys must bring back for the 2024 season

To keep from making more holes on their roster, the Dallas Cowboys need to retain these 5 free agents

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4. Rico Dowdle, RB

At first glance, it might seem crazy to think Rico Dowdle is the player the Cowboys need to re-sign and not Tony Pollard. While it's true Pollard ran for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons, he was also clearly on the decline this past year.

Pollard finished with career lows in both yards per rushing attempt (4.0) and yards per reception (5.7). He also failed to score a touchdown through the air for just the second time in his career. Despite all of this, he's not going to come in and play for nothing.

Pollard made just north of $10 million in 2023 and while he won't get that in 2024, he also won't play for the league minimum. He also might not being relegated back to the No. 2 role, which is what needs to happen since Dallas has to find a capable back who can take pressure off Dak Prescott.

This likely means taking a player on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. That could lead to a franchise back being found but they're going to also need someone capable of backing up their new starter. Dowdle proved in 2023 that he can handle this role well.

The former South Carolina star had 361 yards on the ground and 144 through the air with four total touchdowns. He averaged 4.1 yards per attempt and 8.5 per reception. He showed good burst when given the opportunity and despite being 26 when the next season starts, he has hardly any wear on his legs with just 96 career rushing attempts.

If Dallas is able to land someone to start as well as perhaps a veteran backup — or even late-round pick who can push Dowdle, that's fine. But they need to know their No. 2 is talented enough to move the chains and having Dowdle as the worst-case option is a huge win.