With a new coaching staff and a long list of eligible free agents, the 2020 offseason promises to be a fascinating and critical stretch for the Dallas Cowboys.
The NFL's free agent signing period officially begins March 18, when unrestricted free agents can test their value on the open market. The Cowboys also have a March 18 deadline to make qualifying offers to their restricted free agents and obtain right of first refusal.
With so many decisions looming, the DallasCowboys.com staff has grouped the Cowboys' 30 free-agents-to-be into five categories to analyze throughout the week.
We end the five-part series with a closer look at five players who will likely be high priority free agents for the Cowboys, including two players the team has made it clear they are trying to re-sign.
In the final season of his rookie contract, Prescott finished just one yard short of the most prolific passing season in Cowboys history. New head coach Mike McCarthy said that he is "excited about the opportunity to work with Dak" and Jerry Jones called bringing the soon-to-be 27-year-old back "obvious." While it's possible that the Cowboys could put the franchise tag on Prescott, both sides seem hopeful of working out a long term deal. On Friday, Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones was quoted by local reporters stating the talks with Dak are "fixing to heat up."
The Cowboys traded away a first-round pick in order to acquire Cooper in 2018, so it's easy to assume that they had every intention of re-signing him if he produced in the Dallas offense. Cooper did just that with career highs of 1,189 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Cooper, 25, has stated numerous times that he would like to remain in Dallas, and Jerry Jones called bringing back Cooper and quarterback Dak Prescott a "priority." Cooper could end up being tagged, either with the franchise or transition tag, but depending on other factors such as Dak's contract and a new CBA deal.
The Cowboys traded a sixth-round pick to acquire Quinn prior to the 2019 season, and the veteran had a career resurgence in Dallas by leading the team with 11.5 sacks, his most in six seasons. Quinn will be 30 at the start of the 2020 season. He's a two-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick.
Cobb was brought in on a one-year deal in 2018, and primarily served as the Cowboys' slot receiver. In 15 games, Cobb recorded 828 yards and three touchdowns. Prior to coming to Dallas, Cobb, 29, spent his entire career under Mike McCarthy in Green Bay, possibly increasing the chances that he signs a new deal with the Cowboys.
Ladouceur is easily the longest tenured player on the Cowboys' roster having signed with the team in 2005. The Cowboys' long snapper will be 39 at the start of next season, but he was consistently effective in 2019, and new special teams coordinator John Fassel will likely want his first special teams unit to have the experience and consistency Ladouceur offers.