Why The Dallas Cowboys Should Target This Top Free Agent Before Training Camp

By: Anthony Miller

The Dallas Cowboys is just a couple of pieces away from a Super Bowl trip so it might make sense for Dallas to go after one free agent before training camp begins.

One aspect of the Cowboys’ offense that has been getting attention is the running back position. With Ezekiel Elliott no longer on the team, Tony Pollard is now the next man in line at running back. Pollard had his first 1,000-yard season last year while also being tied for tenth in the NFL in rushing touchdowns with nine. He also had 371 yards receiving with three receiving touchdowns.

Dallas has four other running backs on the roster Malik Davis, Ronald Jones, Deuce Vaughn, and Rico Dowdle. Davis looks to be the favorite to be the backup after rushing for 161 yards and one touchdown last season for the Cowboys. Jones is the veteran back who will push Davis, but it’s not clear if he will be able to make a roster spot. Vaughn was drafted by Dallas in the sixth round of this year’s draft and is a player they can develop into a nice backup for Dallas. Dowdle will have an uphill battle to earn a roster spot with how many backs they currently have.

While the running back position looks solid, it’s not the strength of this offense when there is potential it could be. According to Spotrac, the Cowboys have about $24 million in salary cap space they can spend this season. What this means is the team has money to spend if they are serious about a run for a Super Bowl title this season. There is one player on offense they can target that would be an upgrade for them.

How Dalvin Cook Impacts the Cowboys’ Offense

Photo by Matt Krohn – USA Today Sports

Dalvin Cook was released by the Minnesota Vikings on Friday after there was off-season speculation that he was going to be traded. The Dallas Cowboys was rumored to be interested in trading for Cook prior to him being released from the Vikings. With him being a free agent now, the Cowboys have the option to go sign him without having to get up any players or draft picks to do it.

It may seem like an odd move especially since they have Tony Pollard on the roster and now the top back, but most NFL teams now try to have two top backs so that they don’t take too many hits. Cook has been dominant in the NFL with four straight seasons of posting over 1,000 yards rushing. He can also be a threat in the passing game as every season since 2018 he has caught at least 34 passes. Cook’s downhill, power running ability makes him a perfect complement to Pollard’s speedy, quick feet style.

Paying him is going to be the key component to this whole deal as it will be quite a decision for Dallas if they want to pay him. His last contract with the Vikings was a five-year, $63 million contract which is an average of $12.6 million per year. The reality is Cook will not be getting that kind of money in free agency, but he is most likely looking to be in the $7 million to $10 million range for it to make sense. San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey is the highest-paid back at $16 million. Cook will want to be around the ballpark as a top-ten running back.

The Cowboys might be able to get him cheaper if there isn’t much of a market for him which seems doubtful as the Miami Dolphins appear to be in the running. It could end up being a bidding war for the running back. Dallas has the cap to pay him, but they need to decide if he is worth it. If they are serious about making a Super Bowl run now, he might be worth the one-year rental to pay up and get them closer to the Lombardi Trophy.

Featured Image by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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