3 Cowboys likely entering their final season in Big D

These three Dallas Cowboys are likely entering their final season with America's Team.
Dallas Cowboys, Brandin Cooks
Dallas Cowboys, Brandin Cooks / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, the Dallas Cowboys lost several key contributors in free agency. Despite Jerry Jones claiming the team was "all-in," they watched as Tyron Smith signed with the New York Jets, Tony Pollard joined the Tennessee Titans, Stephon Gilmore was ignored, and Dan Quinn brought Tyler Biadasz, Dorance Armstrong and Dante Fowler, Jr. to the Washington Commanders.

Dallas did very little to replace its outgoing veterans, with Ezekiel Elliott, Royce Freeman, and Eric Kendricks representing its only outside free agent signings.

Unfortunately, there's not much hope for the strategy to change in 2025. That means fans need to get used to seeing players exit, which includes these three pending free agents.

3. Trey Lance, QB

Dallas Cowboys, Trey Lance
Dallas Cowboys, Trey Lance / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

This is the least painful on the list — besides the pain of knowing Dallas traded a fourth-round pick to have Trey Lance warm the bench. The Cowboys had him listed as the emergency quarterback all season, meaning he never got a chance to play in garbage time.

Cooper Rush was the one they turned to when games were already locked up. While he threw just 24 passes, that would have been 24 passes to see what they had in Lance while potentially advertising him for quarterback-needy teams.

They knew what they had in Rush but knew nothing about the former 49ers top three pick. Even with him reportedly in line for reps this offseason, he's likely to leave and give Dallas nothing in return.

2. Osa Odighizuwa, DT

Osa Odighizuwa, Dallas Cowboys
Osa Odighizuwa, Dallas Cowboys / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

As we saw with Tyler Biadasz and Dorance Armstrong, the Cowboys don't value their players as much as opposing teams do. They weren't expecting Biadasz to earn what he did on the open market, but then again, they're still approaching free agency as if it's the 1980s, and teams will sign with Dallas for a chance to be seen on TV.

They're no longer the draw they once were, so offering the veteran minimum paired with the allure of the star on the helmet doesn't work. Unfortunately, they don't learn from this and continue to lowball their players—unless they're coming off a torn ACL.

Dallas will do the same with Osa Odighizuwa, who has 46 career starts in 50 games. Odighizuwa has 125 tackles and 9.0 sacks under his belt and seems on the verge of breaking out. If that happens in 2024, there's no way the Cowboys will pay him what he can get elsewhere.

1. Brandin Cooks, WR

Dallas Cowboys, Brandin Cooks
Dallas Cowboys, Brandin Cooks / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In his first season with the Cowboys, veteran Brandin Cooks had 54 receptions for 657 yards with eight touchdowns. The numbers were lower than expected overall but not bad, considering the season's slow start. Once they stopped force-feeding Michael Gallup, Cooks took off and even made a couple of clutch touchdown catches late in the year.

Cooks will turn 31 in September, and while he still has a lot left in the tank, it would be surprising to see him re-sign for the 2025 season. Dallas has drafted well, and they might prefer to bring in a younger option who won't count as much against the salary cap.

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Randy Gurzi


Arizona State grad