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Luke Schoonmaker
Luke Schoonmaker Missing OTAs with hamstring issue
Wed, May 22, 2024, 11:56 AM
Coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday that Schoonmaker (hamstring) could miss the entirety of OTAs due to a new injury, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Schoonmaker is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury, though per Todd Archer of ESPN.com, McCarthy confirmed that his rehab from shoulder surgery has gone well. The 2023 second-round pick has had issues staying healthy in his young career, having missed time last spring due to a foot issue, though he did play all 17 games as a rookie despite battling a shoulder issue.
Deuce Vaughn
Deuce Vaughn Could take slot snaps?
Mon, May 20, 2024, 3:14 PM
Vaughn (ankle) is a candidate to earn more work out of the slot this offseason, Reid Hanson of USA Today reports.
Analysis: Vaughn only suited up for seven games as a rookie before landing on IR, across which he totaled just 80 yards from scrimmage without a touchdown. Now presumably healthy, the 5-foot-6 running back could have a clearer path to backfield opportunities with Tony Pollard having moved on to Tennessee, even with Ezekiel Elliott now back atop the depth chart. The slot could be a more natural fit for Vaughn, though to emerge as an actual fantasy contributor in Year 2, he'll need to earn more than the occasional designed play.
Jalen Tolbert
Jalen Tolbert Should have larger role in 2024
Fri, May 3, 2024, 10:11 AM
Tolbert is in line for a larger role this season after working as the Cowboys' No. 4 WR in 2023, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports
Analysis: After playing just 89 snaps on offense as a rookie, the 2022 third-round pick got a lot more playing time (477 snaps) in his second season, essentially splitting the No. 3 receiver role with Michael Gallup for much of the year. Gallup is now in Las Vegas and hasn't been replaced by a similar veteran or early draft pick, leaving Tolbert as the likely third WR behind entrenched starters CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks. While the role won't necessarily entail a large quantity of targets, Tolbert at least would be positioned for a degree of fantasy value if Lamb were to miss any time with an injury.
Trey Lance
Trey Lance 2025 option declined by Dallas
Wed, May 1, 2024, 6:43 PM
The Cowboys declined Lance's 2025 fifth-year option, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: This was a no-brainer, as Lance has been a mega-bust to this point in his career after the 49ers traded up to select Lance at No. 3 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. He didn't play a single snap for Dallas last season after the team traded for him prior to Week 1. Lance will compete with Cooper Rush for backup duties behind Dak Prescott.
Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott Gets $1.75 million guaranteed
Wed, May 1, 2024, 9:16 AM
Elliott's one-year, $2 million contract with the Cowboys includes $1.75 million guaranteed, and he can earn up to $1 million more via incentives, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: All of the incentives require Dallas making the playoffs, with the other parts entailing Elliott playing more than half the team's snaps ($500,000), scoring 10 touchdowns ($250,000) or reaching 1,100 yards from scrimmage ($250,000). He did all three of those things in 2021, and two of the three in his most recent season with the Cowboys (2022). A one-year sojourn to New England proved less productive, though Elliott handled some huge workloads late in the season after Rhamondre Stevenson suffered a high-ankle injury, averaging 14.8 carries and 5.2 catches over the Patriots' final six games. The Cowboys probably won't call on him that often, even with their other backfield options -- Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn, Royce Freeman, Malik Davis and Snoop Conner -- being less than stellar. The Cowboys didn't draft a running back in April, and none of their veterans besides Elliott has ever run for more than 521 yards in a season.
Tyron Billy-Johnson
Tyron Billy-Johnson Signs with Dallas
Tue, Apr 30, 2024, 5:19 PM
Johnson agreed to terms on a contract with the Cowboys on Tuesday.
Analysis: Johnson signed a reserve/future contract with the 49ers following the 2022 season before being let go prior to OTAs. He subsequently landed with the Cowboys, but the pass catcher failed to make it through to the 53-man roster. However, he did spend the entire season on the team's practice squad. He will now look to make more of an impression with Dallas this training camp.
Rico Dowdle
Rico Dowdle Joined by Zeke in shaky backfield
Mon, Apr 29, 2024, 2:42 PM
The Cowboys are signing Ezekiel Elliott to join Dowdle in a backfield that otherwise lacks experienced players and early draft picks, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The Zeke reunion has been in the works for weeks, but most people still expected the Cowboys to add at least one running back during the 2024 NFL Draft. They ultimately didn't select one, leaving Royce Freeman, Malik Davis, Snoop Conner and 2023 sixth-round pick Deuce Vaughn as the competition behind Elliott and Dowdle. An undrafted free agent or two likely will be added to that mix, but it should still be a favorable situation for Elliott and Dowdle to earn playing time.
Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott Returning to Dallas
Mon, Apr 29, 2024, 7:41 AM
Elliott agreed to terms Monday to a contract with the Cowboys, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Pending a physical, Elliott will attempt to reignite his career in Dallas, the team with which he spent the first seven years of his NFL career and earned two All-Pro nods. The Cowboys recently lost Tony Pollard to free agency and, to the surprise of most analysts, opted not to select a running back in the 2024 NFL Draft, giving Elliott an easy path to the No. 1 role in a backfield that also includes Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn (ankle). It's unclear how much the former rushing champ has left in the tank entering his age-29 season, as across 17 games with the Patriots last season he carried 184 times for just 642 yards (3.5 YPC) plus three scores, while adding a 51-313-2 receiving line.
Royce Freeman
Royce Freeman Picked up by Dallas
Tue, Apr 16, 2024, 7:23 PM
Freeman signed a one-year contract with the Cowboys on Tuesday, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Freeman spent his first three seasons with the Broncos before before stops with the Panthers, Texans and Rams the last three years. The journeyman tallied 319 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in Los Angeles last year across 14 games. Dallas lost Tony Pollard to free agency, so the running back room is currently filled with the likes of Rico Dowdle, Deuce Vaughn (ankle), Malik Davis and Snoop Conner. Thus, Freeman will presumably have an opportunity to carve out a role for himself. However, the team could still opt to invest at the position in the draft.
CeeDee Lamb
CeeDee Lamb Seeking new contract
Mon, Apr 15, 2024, 10:16 AM
Lamb is not expected to attend the start of Dallas' offseason workouts as he continues negotiations with the team on a contract extension, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Lamb is currently entering the final season of his rookie contract, which would see him earn roughly $18 million on the fifth-year option, but he's been clear about his desire to come to terms on a long-term deal to keep him with the Cowboys. Patrik Walker of the team's official site reports that Lamb recently responded to rumors of a potential holdout by saying he'll "be in Dallas" this season, though mandatory workouts won't begin until minicamp in early June. DeVonta Smith, a 2021 first-round pick, is fresh off signing a three-year, $75 million extension including $51 million guaranteed with the Eagles, but Lamb's production could well warrant a top-of-the-market deal closer to $30 million per year.
CeeDee Lamb
CeeDee Lamb May skip voluntary workouts
Mon, Apr 8, 2024, 8:49 AM
Lamb may be absent from the start of Cowboys offseason workouts April 15 as he seeks a new contract, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: Lamb is currently scheduled to play out the 2024 season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, which would carry a $17.99 million salary. Skipping offseason workouts is one of Lamb's only bargaining chips if he seeks a contract extension immediately, other than attempting a more severe holdout. Attendance will be voluntary until Dallas' minicamp early June, and it remains to be seen whether Lamb would actually consider a holdout at that point. The 25-year-old solidified himself as one of the NFL's top wideouts with a 135-1,749-12 receiving line through 17 regular-season games in 2023, and a new contract could place him in the range of a $30 million per year salary, similar to Tyreek Hill's deal atop the WR market. That said, the Cowboys also have to navigate the contract situations of stars Dak Prescott and Micah Parsons.
Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott Not offered extension yet
Tue, Mar 26, 2024, 1:00 PM
The Cowboys haven't offered Prescott a contract extension, with player and team having a "mutual understanding" of the situation as he enters a contract season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Analysis: Prescott had one of his best statistical seasons in 2023, but the Cowboys may be hesitant to commit long term after yet another disappointment in the playoffs. On the other hand, Prescott is scheduled for a $55.46 million cap hit in 2024 even after restructuring with void years, and an extension would allow the Cowboys to significantly lower that number. He'll turn 31 in August, and without a significant addition in the draft, he may play 2024 behind the worst offensive line he's ever had while also working with a diminished supporting cast following the departure of Tony Pollard.
Luke Schoonmaker
Luke Schoonmaker Rehabbing from shoulder surgery
Tue, Mar 26, 2024, 8:28 AM
Schoonmaker (shoulder) is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and is expected to be ready for training camp, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: Schoonmaker is coming off a quiet rookie campaign in which he secured just eight of 15 targets for 65 yards and two touchdowns over 17 regular-season appearances. While the tight end didn't miss any time, it appears the 2023 second-round pick was hampered by a shoulder issue. Another offseason to get acquainted with Dallas' offense and build chemistry with Dak Prescott could allow Schoonmaker to improve his production during the 2024 season, but he figures to remain behind jake Ferguson on the depth chart.
Rico Dowdle
Rico Dowdle Remaining with Dallas
Mon, Mar 18, 2024, 5:31 PM
Dowdle is set to re-sign with the Cowboys, Jon Machota of The Athletic reports.
Analysis: Following the free-agent departure of Tony Pollard, Dowdle is poised to reclaim his role in a Dallas backfield that also currently includes Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis and Snoop Conner. Chances are, the Cowboys will add further RB depth via free agency or the draft, so until the team's personnel at the position is settled, Dowdle's fantasy upside for the 2024 season will be difficult to gauge.
Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott Restructures bonus in contract
Mon, Mar 18, 2024, 8:49 AM
Prescott restructured his contract over the weekend, Field Yates of ESPN reports.
Analysis: The Cowboys converted a $5 million roster bonus into a signing bonus and added two void years to free up $4 million in 2024 cap space. They can further reduce Prescott's present-year cap hit by either extending him or doing a similar restructure with the $29 million base salary for the final year of his contract. Dallas hasn't done much else through the first week of free agency, despite losing last year's starters at left tackle (Tyron Smith - Jets) and center (Tyler Biadasz - Commanders).
Trey Lance
Trey Lance Sticking with Cowboys in 2024
Thu, Feb 29, 2024, 7:30 PM
The Cowboys will pick up Lance's $4.25 million roster bonus for the 2024 season, Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: Lance didn't play a snap for the Cowboys in 2023 after he was traded by the 49ers late in training camp. However, Dallas is optimistic about the growth he made and reportedly has not considered cutting him. Unsurprisingly, the team will not pick up Lance's fifth-year option, which would have been worth $22.4 million. In the best-case scenario, he'll be the Cowboys' backup quarterback entering 2024.
Tony Pollard
Tony Pollard Headed for free agency
Mon, Feb 26, 2024, 2:16 PM
The Cowboys aren't expected to use the franchise tag on Pollard and likely will allow him to test free agency, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Schefter is reporting the same thing about Raiders RB Josh Jacobs and Giants RB Saquon Barkley, both of whom received franchise tags last offseason (just like Pollard). Each of the three suffered a statistical decline from 2022 to 2023, especially in terms of yards per carry, though Pollard did better late in the season and ultimately snuck over 1,000 rushing yards for the year. Schefter also reports that RBs Derrick Henry and Austin Ekeler will be allowed to test free agency, with a deep class at the position potentially harming all of them when it comes to salary negotiations.
Michael Gallup
Michael Gallup Could be cut this offseason
Tue, Feb 20, 2024, 4:00 PM
Gallup may be released this offseason, according to Jon Machota of The Athletic.
Analysis: The last time we saw Gallup in uniform he caught six passes for 103 yards in a wild-card loss to the Packers. It was his first 100-yard game since Nov. 2021, six weeks before he suffered a career-altering ACL tear. Gallup has three seasons remaining on the five-year, $57.5 million extension he signed a few months after suffering the injury, but none of the remaining money is guaranteed. The Cowboys can free up $9.5 million in 2024 cap space if Gallup is designated as a post-June 1 release, while cutting him without the designation would free up just $800,000 but keep him off the books for 2025. He'll probably need to accept a pay cut/renegotiation if he wants to stay in Dallas
Peyton Hendershot
Peyton Hendershot Undergoes ankle surgery
Thu, Feb 8, 2024, 6:14 PM
Hendershot (ankle) had surgery after the Cowboys' season ended, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: The depth tight end should be available once the team's offseason program begins in the spring, per Archer. Hendershot caught four passes for 38 yards and no touchdowns in eight games this season.
Jalen Brooks
Jalen Brooks Little usage as rookie
Tue, Jan 30, 2024, 11:50 AM
Brooks caught all six of his targets for 64 yards over seven regular-season games in 2023.
Analysis: The seventh-round pick out of South Carolina was never active for more than three games in a row during his rookie season, and most of his production came in Week 10 when he saw extra run in garbage time against the Giants. The Cowboys figure to return most of their key offensive personnel in 2024, but if Michael Gallup or Brandin Cooks becomes cap casualties in the offseason, Brooks could move into a bigger role.

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