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 defensive end Chauncey Golston.
What Worked: After a solid rookie season in 2021, Golston came into this past season with high hopes as being part of the Cowboys' already impressive and deep pass rushing unit. He played in a relatively small sample size (237 snaps) and totaled 22 combined tackles that included two TFLs and a sack to go along with it plus a pass deflection. His ability to create pressure in concert with the likes of Dorance Armstrong, DeMarcus Lawrence, Micah Parsons, etc. proved to be a valuable commodity.
Needs Some Work: One of the deeper position groups the Cowboys boast on their roster was the defensive line and edge rushers, and that played against Golston in 2022. He saw his snap count diminish from his rookie year to his second year (41% down to 23%) and as a result, his numbers across the board dipped just slightly. The Cowboys used a third-round pick on Golston in the 2021 NFL Draft, so the pedigree and interest is still there, however with Dante Fowler and Armstrong's big seasons he was lost in the shuffle to a degree.
His Best Work: Golston's breakout game of the year might have gone under the radar given that it was Week 18 on the road against the Commanders, but it was nonetheless his best game of his young career. The University of Iowa product racked up 11 total tackles, easily his career-high for a single game, five of which he took care of on his own.
Contract Consideration: As he enters Year 3, Golston is due almost $1.2 million for the 2023 season in base salary and holds a cap charge of nearly $1.3 million. That base salary will increase again slightly in 2024 before he can reach free agency.
What's Next: Given the way that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn likes to frequently rotate his defensive linemen, there is a pathway to Golston getting equal to/more playing time than he had in 2022. His ability to provide productive play in spurts behind the Cowboys' starting pass rushers should keep him in good standing heading into the 2023 season.