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Dallas Cowboys 2021 Free Agent Breakdown: Goodbye Dak Prescott?

A quick breakdown of the Dallas Cowboys 2021 free agents.

We aren’t even to the halfway point of the 2020 season yet, but at 2-5 it’s probably time for the Dallas Cowboys to start thinking about what’s best for the future of the organization. That means some serious evaluating needs to be done between now and the end of the year, whether it’s the young talent or their pending 2021 free agents.

Today, I want to take a look at the players who are set to hit free agency after the season because a decision about them will have to be made sooner rather than later. With that in mind, I’ve decided to do a quick breakdown of all of the Dallas Cowboys 2021 free agents in order to hopefully get a better understanding of who they may want to keep and who they let go.

Let’s start with the Top 5…

Top 5 Dallas Cowboys 2021 Free Agents

1. QB Dak Prescott (unrestricted free agent)

Dak Prescott is the key to the entire 2021 offseason for the Dallas Cowboys. Sitting at 2-5 right now they could very easily be within reach to take one of the Top 3 QBs in the 2021 NFL Draft (Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance), which makes Prescott’s future in Dallas a little bit murky. Is a long-term extension in his future, the franchise tag, or a pat on the back and goodbye wave?

Up until a gruesome ankle injury ended his season, No. 4 was the one good thing going for the Dallas Cowboys. In order to keep him around next season though the Cowboys are going to have to pay the piper to the tune of around $40 million (contract extension) or a little over $37 million (franchise tag). Any chance of a hometown discount sailed a long time ago.

2. DE Aldon Smith (unrestricted free agent)

Aldon Smith wasted no time proving he’s the same player he once was despite his five year hiatus from the NFL. He has been one of the biggest surprises in the entire league and one of the Cowboys best defensive players as well. Sadly, he could be one and done in Dallas.

The better Smith plays the rest of the 2020 season the harder it’s going to be for the Cowboys to re-sign him in the offseason. At 31 years old, this could be his last shot at a big payday and if that’s what he has in mind he’ll likely find it somewhere else rather than in Dallas.

3. LB Joe Thomas (unrestricted free agent)

A backup capable of starting, Joe Thomas has proven his value with the Dallas Cowboys time and time again over the past three years. He may not receive the same kind of hype Jaylon Smith or Leighton Vander Esch do, but he’s played just as well as either one when thrust into action.

Depending on Thomas’ interest in free agency, the Cowboys would be wise to re-sign him. He should be relatively inexpensive and would provide much-needed depth considering Sean Lee and Justin March also become free agents in 2021.

4. CB Chidobe Awuzie (unrestricted free agent)

With the exception of Trevon Diggs, nearly all of the Dallas Cowboys secondary are becoming free agents in 2021. Instead of a complete makeover they’d probably like to keep one of them around and Chidobe Awuzie makes the most sense, despite not playing much this season.

Awuzie has been steady playing outside CB since arriving in Dallas and he’s versatile enough to fit in any defensive scheme. I doubt he’ll be highly sought after in free agency, so he could be a rather inexpensive option to keep around. I say he’s got a 50-50 chance of returning next year.

5. LS LP Ladouceur (unrestricted free agent)

A long snapper in the Top 5… Really!? Absolutely! The Dallas Cowboys love him and he loves Dallas. This bromance will continue as long as Ladouceur wants to play. He’s still one of the most consistent long snappers in the league, despite being 40 years old.

Remaining Free Agents:

Unrestricted Free Agents

  • An unrestricted free agent is a player who is no longer under contract with a team and is eligible to sign with other clubs or franchises.

C Joe Looney: Looney just missed out on the Top 5. His value has diminished with the emergence of both Tyler Biadasz and Connor McGovern.

DT Tyrone Crawford: Crawford somehow managed to avoid being a salary-cap casualty the past a few years, but his time in Dallas should be coming to an end regardless.

LB Sean Lee: No. 50 probably should’ve retired after the 2019 season. He has yet to play a snap in 2020 and there’s not much of a market for 35-year-old, often injured LB. Retirement is likely.

QB Andy Dalton: If Dalton survives the 2020 season – a big “if” – he will likely seek a better opportunity somewhere else.

CB Daryl Worley: Worley doesn’t have a future in Dallas. He’s already been demoted and could be on the cusp of getting cut out right before the season ends.

OL Cameron Erving: Erving’s value lies in his ability to play anywhere along the OL. If he’s not too costly in free agency Dallas could be interested in retaining him.

LB Justin March: Basically a special teams guy only. Cowboys can find younger/cheaper options to fill that role.

CB CJ Goodwin: Excellent special teams player, but not much else. Can be easily and cheaply retained if the Cowboys want.

CB Jourdan Lewis: Lewis is going to be looking for a chance to start somewhere and that clearly isn’t going to be in Dallas.

S Xavier Woods: Xavier Woods is well-liked in Dallas and could return if the price is right. I give him a 50-50 shot at returning in 2021.

WR Noah Brown: Dallas already has outstanding depth at WR so it’s unlikely Noah Brown returns.

QB Garrett Gilbert: Added after Dak Prescott’s injury. He has no future in Dallas beyond this season.

TE Blake Bell: The emergence of Dalton Schultz and the return of Blake Jarwin means Blake Bell isn’t needed next season.

Restricted Free Agents

  • A restricted free agent is a player who is signed to one team but is free to solicit contract offers from other teams.

WR Cedrick Wilson: If Cedrick Wilson continues to have games like he did against Seattle he could draw interest from another team. If not, he’s not going anywhere.

DT Antwaun Woods: Unless another team values him enough to offer a contract, the Cowboys can do with him what they want. Not a priority, but provides good depth at DT.

WR Malik Turner: Unless the Cowboys cut him he will stick around next season.

Exclusive-Rights Free Agents

  • An exclusive-rights free agent as a player who is no longer under contract with a club but has less than three Accrued Seasons.

WR Ventell Bryant: Was released from IR with an injury settlement.

What do you think?

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Brian Martin

Written by Brian Martin

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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  1. Re-sign Aldon Smith not at any cost, but pay The accurate amount if he continue being consistent.
    Re-sign Joe Thomas as Brian says should be cheap and he could be always an instant backup.
    Trade Awuzie.
    Re-sign Ladouceur.
    Re-sign Looney at low cost, now his price is down he is behind Biadasz and McGovern.
    Release/trade DT Crawford.
    Release LB Lee in case he don’t retire.
    Re-sign QB Dalton at a same kind of deal he is now.
    Release/trade CB Worley.
    OL Erving don’t know his salary but re-sign at a low cost.
    LB March and CB Goodwin showld be re-sign according to their duty, only special teams contributors.
    CB Lewis should be re-sign in Awuzie’s place.
    S Woods should be re-sign or trade.
    WB Brown should be trade in case they could.

    • Restructuring either one of their contracts would push more money into the future. I think you mean having them take a pay cut instead.

  2. I would let Dak go. He is overrated. His stats look good but not the pocket type passer to take them to the next level. What I mean is he cant win the big games plus he lacks leadership when there is desention on the team.

  3. Robert- all due respect say what u want about Dak production wise ( I guess) but to say he isn’t a leader? Wow he is the undisputed leader of this team and really the only leader they have. This team fell apart when he went down.

    He was the one player they could not afford to lose. He is their best and most valuable player. If not him then who?

  4. Dak not a leader? Have you seen how lethargic the Cowboys have been without him? He is the unquestioned heart and soul of the Cowboys and any player who is that deserves to be paid accordingly. The real question is does Dak deserve this situation or going to another team whos all around better like the Colts?

  5. I LOVE DAK PRESCOTT! But that being said this whole roster needs rebuilt and I believe Dak needs paid but more than the Cowboys can afford due to lack of team talent. I think they need Trevor Lawrence and hire Lincoln Riley to coach him up and we rebuild a young team like we did when Jimmy J was coach. It would be fun to watch a new younger team under a new culture rebuild the Cowboy image.

  6. Dak’s the best player on the team, but we have a 2 year rebuild as our salary cap is busted with zeke, Jaylon and Tank. My fix is to trade one of our star linemen if we keep Dak. Dak is one of the only QBs in the NFL that can play behind a garbage line. He can stand in the pocket and deliver down the field knowing hits are coming. We need defensive stars more than O line stars. I’d consider trading Zack Martin for a 1st if someome offered it. I’d also trade Gallup for a 2nd and 5th. We have 4 all pro linemen when healthy. 3 star WRs. That’s overkill on offense when the defense is that bad. A young QB needs a great line. Dak just needs a decent one. People say dalton didn’t have a shot with this line. Well Dak played behind it all year. The line led to strip sacks and 1 int was a Hail Mary at 6 secs and the other was a must force with 1 min to go down 2 scores. All considered he played outstanding with no blocking and no run game.

    Oh and guys we won’t get Trevor and he’s never played against any pressure defense in the ACC. He’s not a lock. And we can’t give away 2 1sts and 2 2nds for him. QB was our only bright spot ffs.

  7. For any of u not versed in what “dead money” is and how it relates to this current roster, or any roster for that matter, I would suggest u go to spotrac.com NFL and research the cowboys and what cutting or trading some of our star players would do to our salary cap.

  8. Robert pull your head out of your ass dak Prescott deserves your respect and everyone else’s. If you think you can do a better job dude put the pads on and take your ass out on the field and let’s see it

  9. Jim Bob, IMO, I think you are overstating our O-line. We don’t have 4 All Pro O-linemen, healthy or not. We actually have two, Zack Martin and T Smith. Travis Frederick made All Pro, but he no longer plays football. Unfortunately, T Smith is getting injured almost every year now, so no longer dependable at all. La’el Collins never made All Pro, but has played very well recently. Zack Martin is our BEST O-Lineman, and I don’t think we should trade him. No QB can play behind a “garbage line” for long, including Prescott. Agree with you, we definitely need defensive help, but not at the expense of the O-line. Games are won in the trenches, need two good lines. I would seriously consider Justin Fields if available. Like a bigger version of D Watson and more athletic then Prescott.

  10. VAM- If we could get Fields and that’s a big if, I would do it. Trey Lance is another to consider, though coming from a small school his learning curve could be much steeper. College QBs have a high bust rate, so gotta be real careful going that route.

    Too bad our salary cap isn’t in better shape so we could have more options, but thanks to Jerry it’s not.

  11. Gary b, Yeah I would take Fields also, but I get the risks. But this kid really looks special. I love to speculate about the draft, but didn’t think we would be talking about it just seven games into season. Tells a lot about our rough season.

  12. Dak isn’t going anywhere… He won the two games that’s standing at this very moment. With outstanding play… Now, Jerry and Stephen see how valuable Dak is to this ball club.. He also brings excitement. That’s what Jerry likes… If they want a very reliable back up QB. Colin Kaepernik would compliment the Cowboys… Earl Thomas is the true safety Dallas needs… Remember the 90’s, Jerry did what it took to be competitive. That’s how you win Super Bowls… Charles Haley was an aggressive, disrespectful player. But, Jerry signed him… Deion was very expensive. Jerry also signed him as well.. Aggression births leadership… It’s called leading by example… They never should have let Chris Rashard leave.. He’s an aggressive defensive coach.. That mentality rubs off on the players… That’s why Jimmy Johnson was successful… If the coaching staff is passive. The players are also going to be passive…
    I need to have a conversation with the Joneses…
    Sincerely,
    True Blue

  13. Unfortunately Trevor Lawrence is going to be out of the question. More than likely he holds out another year to avoid going to the career-destroying NY Jets. It has been shown with his injury that Dak is unquestionably the lynchpin of this entire team, offense and defense. So now the idiotic handling of contract situations by the Jones’ has left us in a place where we can’t afford to pay Dak the immense amount of money he is surely going to command. My whole issue with this franchise isn’t this player’s production or that player’s contract, it’s the gross handling of the organization by an inept, egotistical, self centered ingrate who has run this team into the ground. Sorry to out it this way, but until Jerry Jones dies and someone else takes over the GM job, it’s going to be year in and year out of this bumbling, non-sensical management that we’ve been dealing with for the past 10 years. Plain and simple.

  14. I wish Dak never got hurt. Now everyone thinks if we had Dak and he never got hurt we would of went to Superbowl. Dak is TRASH! Draft Trevor and rebuild

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