FRISCO, Texas – Over the next 10 days, a lot will change in terms of the Cowboys roster, especially when the official free-agent signing period opens on March 16.
But between now and then, there will be a few other deadlines, including Tuesday, the last day teams can place the franchise tag on a player. Also, there will be a two-day window in which other teams can start negotiating with free agents before the start of the new league year.
So expect some chaos to occur regarding the this team, which has over 20 unrestricted free agents on the list.
Today, let's focus on some players who could be headed back to the Cowboys, depending on the price tag. Maybe not the top of the priority list, but guys the team wouldn't mind returning, depending on the price.
Noah Brown – Maybe there's a reason he was at the top of this list. The Cowboys actually got this deal done before the start of free agency by giving him a one-year extension. Brown certainly isn't a flashy player an hasn't produced a ton of stats – catching just 39 passes in four years, including a career-high 16 receptions in 2021. But Brown can provide depth and right now, the Cowboys don't have a lot of that at wide receiver. His ability to play different spots at receiver, plus his special teams experience makes him a valuable player to have on the roster. But entering his fifth year, Brown has to make sure and beat out the younger players, who will probably be cheaper options if it gets down to tough roster decisions before the season starts.
Brent Urban – The Cowboys were hoping for more production from Urban, who missed most of the season with an injury. But Dan Quinn had a plan for Urban, who could be a hybrid inside/outside tackle as the Cowboys were switching up from a three-man front to a four-man front. Players like Urban can help with that transition because of their versatility and if it's for the right price, the Cowboys would probably entertain getting him back to try again if he's fully healthy.
Carlos Watkins – As it turned out, Watkins was yet another one of the good free-agent signings by the Cowboys last year. While the expectations for him weren't high, it worked out for Watkins, who was able to play 15 games. Considering the injuries to Urban, Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore, Watkins was needed in the middle. He showed surprising agility for his size and if the price is right, look for him to return.
Jeremy Sprinkle – Here's a signing that makes sense now in March. Who knows if Sprinkle will actually make it back to the roster again, but from a numbers standpoint, the Cowboys will need some tight ends, even after giving Dalton Schultz the franchise tag on Tuesday. Blake Jarwin will be rehabbing a hip injury but the Cowboys still have Sean McKeon. Sprinkle is probably the best blocker of the bunch so bringing him back could be a possibility although the Cowboys will likely keep looking for upgrades.
On Wednesday, we'll focus on a few more big-name players who could be on different teams next year.