Analyzing Cowboys 2023 Free Agents: Who Should Stay And Who Should Go

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cowboys 2023 free agents

The Dallas Cowboys are one of the NFL’s most well-rounded teams, but the roster could look a lot different in 2023. But which Cowboys 2023 free agents should return?

The Cowboys front office has a lot of work to do this offseason. There are 22 players set to become free agents after this year.

So who should Dallas keep and who should be ready to pack their bags? Let’s break it all down:

Who the Cowboys should resign

Terence Steele

Resigning Steele should be a top priority for the Cowboys this offseason. Dallas put its faith in Steele last offseason when La’el Collins was released, and Steele has proven that was the correct move. 

Steele was a steal, signing with Dallas as an undrafted rookie in 2020. He’s posted a 69.5 PFF grade this year, the sixth-best mark of any Cowboys offensive player. 

He’s also playing on a miniscule deal as he accounts for less than $1 million in cap space. But Steele deserves a multi-year contract going into 2023.

Noah Brown

Brown is another player far exceeding his value. The fifth-year WR is only making a tick over $1 million this season, but has been a diamond in the rough.

The Cowboys struggled offensively to start the year. With no Michael Gallup or James Washington, Brown stepped up when defenses focused their attention on CeeDee Lamb.

In seven games, Brown has 25 receptions for 339 yards and a touchdown, which are all career highs. Expect Brown to return to Big D next season.

Rush return?

Cooper Rush

Rush epitomizes what every team looks for in a backup QB. In 156 pass attempts this year, he’s thrown just three interceptions which all came in his final start vs. the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rush didn’t post gaudy numbers in his five starts while Dak Prescott was sidelined. But his 4-1 record proves he did enough to keep the offense afloat without QB1.

The only problem may be if another team sees Rush as a starter and gives him the chance to lead an offense full-time. If that doesn’t happen, the Cowboys should look to retain Rush on a long-term deal.

Brett Maher

The Cowboys kicking situation was a mess in the preseason. Maher was competing with Lirim Hajrullahu for the starting job and ultimately beat him out. But fans lacked optimism for Maher because the Cowboys cut him in the 2019 season due to accuracy issues.

But Maher has proven a lot of people wrong. He’s 15/17 on FG tries, with his only two misses coming from 50+ yards. Maher is PFF’s highest graded kicker.

Unlikely to return in 2023

Tony Pollard

Only time will tell where Pollard plays next season as his fate will be determined by his asking price. The Cowboys are hamstrung by Ezekiel Elliott’s $90 million deal and the back is owed $10.9 million in 2023.

In an effort to avoid investing too much money in the backfield, Dallas may be forced to let Pollard walk and look to the NFL Draft for a back up RB.

Dalton Schultz

Schultz’s future with the Cowboys is dependent on Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot’s play for the remainder of the season. Schultz has dealt with knee injuries that have sidelined him for two games.

If injuries persist and the rookies continue progressing, Schultz may be on his way out of Big D. The Cowboys have already shown a reluctance to extend Schultz after contract negotiations went nowhere in the preseason.

Connor McGovern

McGovern has struggled this season, posting a 48.5 PFF grade. McGovern was expected to back up rookie Tyler Smith, but was promoted to starting LG after Tyron Smith’s preseason hamstring injury.

Tyron is expected to return in coming weeks, which would move Tyler to LG and McGovern to the bench. Assuming Tyron is healthy going into next season, which is a major ‘if’, it would leave no role for McGovern in 2023.