Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll continue the series with safety Markquese Bell.
What Worked: Bell predominantly played special teams during his rookie season last year with the Cowboys after being signed as a UDFA out of Florida A&M. He proved to be a valuable piece for coordinator John Fassel despite appearing in just five games a year ago and played some safety with players like Jayron Kearse battling injuries at times. If nothing else, Bell served as a solid depth piece defensively and a useful piece on special teams.
Needs Some Work: The biggest contributor to Bell not seeing much time at the safety spot had to do in large part of his standing on the depth chart. With Kearse, Malik Hooker and the newly resigned Donovan Wilson -who led the Cowboys in tackles in 2022 - ahead of him, there wasn't much of a path to play and that should again be the case moving forward.
His Best Work: His ability to fill out the roster might not be the most glamorous of skills, but Bell's role is a valuable one nonetheless like so many other players across the league. The Cowboys' special teams was a strong unit in 2022 and Bell contributed to that by playing 54% of his eligible snaps. His length and size fits the prototype of what defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likes in his secondary players.
Contract Consideration: In Year 2, Bell will earn $875,000 with $5,000 of that coming in the former of a signing bonus. He's under contract with the Cowboys the 2024 season before becoming a restricted free agent, and has a cap hit of $10,000.
What's Next: Bell will most likely find his way back on special teams next season for the majority of his playing snaps. With the Cowboys boasting arguably the best safety trio in the league, the playing time might be sparse at his natural position. However, he could be in line to carve out a nice role on special teams next season.