Free agency doesn't officially start until Wednesday, but there was plenty of NFL news on Monday, including the expected loss of guard Connor McGovern. Find out what the Cowboys did do and what's next as we recap Monday in free agency.
FRISCO, Texas – While free agency technically starts on Wednesday, the first day of the new NFL league year, Monday marked the first day teams can legally "tamper" with unrestricted free agents.
It's also the time deals can get negotiated and even agreed upon, although they won't be made official until Wednesday.
Yes, there were plenty of moves to be made around the NFL on Monday, but just a few involving the Cowboys.
Here's a look at some of the latest developments for the Cowboys as of Monday:
- Looks like the Cowboys will have a new left guard in 2023. The Buffalo Bills kicked off the free-agent negotiating period by agreeing on a deal with Connor McGovern, according to reports. McGovern is expected to sign a three-year, $23 million deal with the Bills. McGovern, a third-round pick in 2019, started 15 games last season for the Cowboys, mostly at left guard. But he's got position flex to play center, and also lined up at fullback the past two years as well in short-yardage situations.
- With McGovern expected to sign with the Bills on Monday, the Cowboys can probably count on getting a compensatory pick for him this time next year. The team picked up three comp picks last week, one of them was for the loss of Connor Williams (Miami) a year ago. But with that, the Cowboys also have to figure out how to replace McGovern at left guard. Expect them to sign a veteran and perhaps draft one as well. But there's also the chance to move Tyler Smith to left guard, if they like their options at tackle, which should include Terence Steele and Tyron Smith.
- The Cowboys freed up more money on their salary cap on Monday by restructuring the contract to Michael Gallup. The move saves the team about $7 million in space for 2023. That brings their total to about $37 million in just three reworked deals over the last few days after restructuring contracts for Dak Prescott and Zack Martin. With Gallup, the Cowboys considerably lowered his $11 million base salary and converted it to a bonus to be spread out over the next four years. Gallup is coming off an ACL injury at the end of the 2021 season and caught 39 passes for 424 yards and four TDs last year.
- As the Cowboys are freeing up some cash on the salary cap, the focus is to retain some of their 20 unrestricted free agents. Some of those players are testing the market this week to check out on their net worth, but the Cowboys are hopeful to bring many of them back. According to reports, the Cowboys are trying to retain defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., who tied for third on the team lead last season with six sacks. The Cowboys are still hopeful to bring back some of their top-name free agents, such as Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch and Dalton Schultz.