The offseason has been here for a few weeks now, and with free agency around the corner, Dallas has a laundry list of free agents. Dallas has a total of 24 free agents (21 unrestricted, one restricted, and two exclusive rights), hitting the market this offseason. Big names like Michael Gallup, Randy Gregory, and Leighton Vander Esch headline the list. I don’t know about you, but those three names I just listed make me nervous for the future. Dallas also enters free agency $21 million over the cap.
The ultimate goal for Dallas will be to break even and not have any cap space. But this may mean Dallas loses a few big-name guys. The problem with a loaded roster is that eventually, it breaks up. So, let’s break down who Dallas should not bring back next season, shall we?
Williams had a very off-and-on season filled with penalties. After being benched for Connor McGovern, he returned to the lineup after fixing his penalty woes. However, his penalty problem reared its ugly head in the Wild Card game and caused problems. The way I see it, Williams has lost out on any kind of extension.
In 2021, Williams played 77 percent (949 snaps) of the offensive snaps matching his rookie year. In those 949 snaps, Williams was penalized 14 times which is a career-high. Normally you want an O-lineman to produce productively when he gets more games, but this was not the case here. The only thing going for Williams would be a lack of depth on the O-line. But despite a lack of depth on the O-line, I think it is time to move on from Williams and look to the draft for O-line depth.
Unfortunately for Kazee, he was outperformed by Jayron Kearse. Despite playing in 17 games, Kazee wasn’t the best safety on the team. He also had a few off-the-field issues that could be the downfall of him rejoining Dallas. In 2021, Kazee did manage to start 15 games but again was outperformed.
However, Kazee racked up two interceptions and two forced fumbles. But on a roster with other safeties playing better overall, Kazee will not thrive. Based on that, Kazee would thrive somewhere else if he could get his head straight off the field. He could start for a smaller market team and become a reliable player for their defense.
Turner is yet another solid player buried by better talent at his position. If Dallas re-signs any receiver not named Michael Gallup, Malik Turner isn’t him. Cedrick Wilson is the obvious choice here, and I think Turner would be better off producing for another team. Despite being buried beneath a deep, wide receiver room, Turner put together three touchdowns and made the most of his reps.
Turner has just not been put into situations for him to produce. In 2021, he only had 149 receiving yards on 12 receptions. However, his 75 percent catch rate, I think, is good enough to land him a roster spot somewhere else. Get him a contract to thrive as a good slot guy that is good for quick ten-yard routes or even a home run ball occasionally. Unfortunately, that spot is not in Dallas, but I think he has enough of a case to play significant time elsewhere.
Other Cowboys Players That Won’t Resign
Malik Hooker – Safety: This is another safety on this Cowboys roster set to hit the market. While Hooker played better than Kazee, he still was not the best. Hooker tallied one interception, 30 solo tackles, and one tackle for loss. Unfortunately for Hooker, his market value is very low. His market value alone is not enough for him to be a Dallas Cowboy next season.
Keanu Neal – Safety: And yet another safety hitting the market. Neal joined Dallas for 2021 by following Dan Quinn. However, Neal struggled with COVID-19 twice and dealt with injuries. Neal did not help his case by not playing in the Wild Card game. In 2021, he racked up one sack, 44 solo tackles, four tackles for loss, and two QB hits. His value is higher than Hooker but not enough for Dallas to need him back next season.
Carlos Watkins – Defensive End: Watkins played well for Dallas in 2021, considering he finished with an interception, a touchdown, and a fumble recovery. He also racked up17 solo tackles, one sack, and five tackles for loss. Watkins filled in nicely as a substitute defensive end, but I don’t see Dallas needing him next year. Unfortunately, with Dallas worried about re-signing guys like Randy Gregory, Watkins is an afterthought.
Which Cowboys’ players do you think will not be re-signed by the front office? Comment below and join the discussion!
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