If the Dallas Cowboys hope to make a Super Bowl run in 2023, it would be wise to follow the Philadelphia Eagles blueprint.
The Eagles suffered a crushing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 57. But the Eagles will retain many starters and are set up quite well for the 2023 NFL Draft. Philadelphia has two first round picks, and one of which is the 10th overall selection.
While getting past the Eagles will be tough for the Cowboys, Dallas could also improve the team by learning from their divisional rivals.
Hit the trade market and free agency
Jerry Jones has never been one to rely on splashy trades or major free agent signings to build the Cowboys roster. But Eagles GM Howie Roseman acquired outside talent last offseason and it nearly won the team a Super Bowl.
Roseman realized QB Jalen Hurts needed more weapons in the passing game. So he traded for WR A.J. Brown, and the move paid off. Brown finished fourth in receiving yards and tied for third in receiving touchdowns. The 1-2 punch of Brown and DeVonta Smith made for a top WR duo in the NFL last season.
Another area of need for Philly was the secondary. So Roseman made a deal to get S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, and his six interceptions were tied for the most in football. The Eagles also signed CB James Bradberry as a free agent, and he led the team with 17 pass deflections and added three picks.
Going into next season, Dallas has clear voids to fill at WR, LB and CB, among other position groups. Jones can’t rely on the draft or cheap free agency signings to address those issues like he did last offseason.
Make decisions with your head, not your heart
Jones has been fiercely loyal to a few veterans on this Cowboys team. But it’s time to forget about what those players have done in the past.
Of course, we’re talking about Ezekiel Elliott. His value is limited to short yardage situations and pass protection, which doesn’t warrant keeping him on roster at a $16.7 million cap hit.
Rumors are swirling that Elliott will take a major pay cut to stay with the team. But if Dallas cuts Zeke before June 1, $10.9 in cap space would open up. It’s time to get rid of Elliott and bring in a fresh RB that has more versatility.
Another player in a similar situation is Tyron Smith. One difference between Smith and Elliott is when Tyron is healthy, he’s still a great player. But injuries have plagued the 32-year-old. Here’s his total regular season games played in recent seasons:
- 2020: 2 games
- 2021: 11 games
- 2022: 4 games
Smith will be a $17 million cap hit in 2023. But if released, $9.6 million in cap space would be generated.
The money from cutting Smith and Elliott would be enough to bring in more reliable talent, just like the Eagles did last offseason.