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Who Stays, Who Goes? Which Free Agents Will Cowboys Re-sign in 2021?

The Dallas Cowboys have a little over a month (March 17) until the start of NFL to decide which of their 17 pending they'd like to keep around for next season. They obviously won't be able to keep them all, nor should they, but whoever they decide to retain will impact the other moves I make in the .

Last year the Dallas Cowboys retained 11 of their free agents, but I highly doubt they approach anywhere close that number this year. With that in mind, let's go through each and every one of their 17 pending free agents to determine which ones have a future with the organization and which ones don't.

Let's get started, shall we!?

QB Dak Prescott

Verdict: Keep

Unless contract talks just completely break down and things turned ugly, will be retained for at least the 2021 seasons on either a long-term extension or . Keeping Prescott around is what is in the best interest of the Dallas Cowboys if they want any chance of success in the near future.

QB Andy Dalton

Verdict: Move on

Andy Dalton still believes he's a capable starter in the NFL and as such will seek an opportunity to start elsewhere. That doesn't materialize though the Dallas Cowboys could be interested in retaining him as their QB2 once again.

OL Cameron Erving

Verdict: Move on

Cameron Irving's versatility to play just about any position along the is intriguing, but after missing 10 games last season due to I see no reason to keep him around. Paying for a veteran swing tackle with and is no longer needed.

C/OG Joe Looney

Verdict: Keep

Unless finds a starting job elsewhere, the Dallas Cowboys would be wise to bring him back as an insurance policy in case struggles as a full-time starter. Looney's versatility to play C or OG makes him a valuable utility player.

WR Noah Brown

Verdict: Move on

Dallas' WR position is arguably the deepest and most talented on the entire roster. With , , CeeDee Lamb, and there's no need to spend money on a veteran WR5 like when a cheaper/younger option could be added through the draft.

TE Blake Bell

Verdict: Move on

With 's emergence last year and with Blake Jarwin returning from , playing time for Blake Bell would be minimal at best even if the Cowboys wanted him back. He will likely seek a better opportunity elsewhere in the offseason.

DL Tyrone Crawford

Verdict: Move on

The Dallas Cowboys and are likely to part ways the season. The 31-year-old versatile defensive line is supposedly mulling over , which is understandable considering he's been plagued by injuries the past few seasons.

DT Eli Ankou

Verdict: Move on

The Cowboys traded a seventh-round pick to the Houston Texans to acquire Eli Ankou to provide more depth that the DT position last season. Nothing he did last year during his time in Dallas suggests he has any kind of future with the organization moving forward though.

DE Aldon Smith

Verdict: Keep

There seems to be mutual interest between the Cowboys and Aldon Smith reuniting in the offseason. However, that could change if he's offered a better contract elsewhere. If the price tag isn't too expensive though I expect Dallas to do their best to retain his services for next season.

LB Sean Lee

Verdict: Move on

The only way should be retained by the Cowboys is its as an , not a player. Dallas needs to get younger and healthier at the LB position and neither of those are his strong suits any longer.

LB Joe Thomas

Verdict: Move on

is a serviceable starter as a fill-in who I wouldn't mind the Cowboys trying to retain. But, that's only if Dallas doesn't sign another LB or uses a relatively high pick on the position in the upcoming draft.

LB Justin March

Verdict: Move on

Justin March is strictly a player with little to no value for the Cowboys defensively. They can more than likely replaces value on special teams relatively easily through this year's incoming rookies.

CB Chidobe Awuzie

Verdict: Move on

It wouldn't surprise me to see the Cowboys attempt to retain Awuzie to provide a bridge while they make over the CB position, but I doubt they put a ton of effort into keeping him around. He will likely move on and receive a better offer to play elsewhere.

CB Jourdan Lewis

Verdict: Move on

I don't see any way would want to return to the Dallas Cowboys. He's never really been valued much by the staff during his time with the organization and will likely seek a better opportunity elsewhere.

CB C.J. Goodwin

Verdict: Keep

C.J. Goodwin played 72% of Dallas' snaps on special teams in 2020 and someone will likely campaign to keep around. He'd be relatively inexpensive to retain, which is why I think he sticks around for at least the 2021 season.

S Xavier Woods

Verdict: Move on

's system depends on a free who can make plays in coverage and hasn't proven capable of doing that in his four seasons with the Cowboys. Last year alone in 15 games he had zero interceptions and only one pass defended.

LS L.P. Ladouceur

Verdict: Keep

L.P. Ladouceur just finished his 16th season with the Dallas Cowboys and there's no reason whatsoever not to go for number 17. He still as consistent as ever, even though he will turn 40 in March. If he wants to continue playing the Cowboys would be wise to make it happen.

Brian Martin
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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