Who knows when the NFL’s new league year will begin? But in the meantime, it’s scheduled to begin this upcoming week. However, the league will likely evaluate options due to the Coronavirus pandemic. When free agency does begin though, all eyes will be on the Dallas Cowboys. You know, the team with three of the best free agents in the league. We’ve talked so much about it by now, that we might’ve lost focus on something that should be relatively simple.
As we’ve heard over the last few weeks, the Cowboys are expected to let Cornerback Byron Jones test free agency. Jones will likely attract some big-time offers from cornerback-needy teams around the league, which will make it hard for the front office to keep him in Dallas. Right now, it’d be a surprise if he’s wearing the Star next season.
However, I don’t see how that could be the case with Quarterback Dak Prescott or Wide Receiver Amari Cooper. Both will demand expensive contracts as they’ve solidified themselves as two of the best young players at their respective positions, but it won’t be impossible for the Cowboys to keep them around.
Keep in mind, the team is set to have plenty of cap space in the coming years. Per OverTheCap, the Cowboys will have over $74M in their salary cap. Said cap space won’t look the same after they’re both extended but the point is as of right now, they have room to work with.
Let’s start with Dak Prescott. You can argue whether or not he deserves to become the highest-paid QB in the NFL this offseason. But the bottom line is that he’s one of the game’s best young quarterbacks and there’s no way the Cowboys let a franchise quarterback leave the team. And since Dak would surely become the top paid QB in the league if he hit free agency, then expect Dallas to pay him as such.
They will likely franchise tag him before extending him to a long-term deal, but don’t think for a second he’s not the signal-caller of the future for Dallas. Heck, he’s one of the reasons Head Coach Mike McCarthy picked the Cowboys as his next stop in an experienced coaching career.
As for Amari Cooper, there’s no denying his talent. Sure, his 2019 production might not convince some in Cowboys Nation, but pretending he wasn’t seriously injured just isn’t right. Cooper had to deal with some serious issues throughout the season and found himself out of the playing field in a few key moments.
Despite a disappointing 8-8 record, the Cowboys had one of the best offenses in the NFL. In fact, according to Offensive DVOA, they had the second-best unit in the NFL and the fifth-best passing offense. Why would you want to change that? How could you justify not keeping the quarterback and the WR1 that made you that kind of offense? With another coaching staff, these are two key pieces on the team.
Regardless of their price tags, I don’t see the Cowboys moving on from either. Prescott is a lock to stick around, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Cooper, especially if the proposed CBA is approved and teams can’t apply more than one tag per season.