It has been a busy offseason so far for the Dallas Cowboys as they have been involved in two trade acquisitions, has made three free agent signings, while they have let go of 14 players, including running back Ezekiel Elliott.
After finishing second behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East division last season, America’s Team will be bidding to go one place better at the end of the regular season. They will also have ambitions of winning their first Super Bowl crown since 1996.
Brandin Cooks Will Be a Big Weapon for Prescott
The Cowboys added to their roster back in March when they made a trade with the Houston Texans for the services of wide receiver Brandin Cooks. They gave up a 2023 fifth-round selection and a 2024 sixth-round selection in the deal.
Brandin Cooks has six 1,000-yard-receiving seasons since 2015
That’s more than players like:
Stefon Diggs (5)
DeAndre Hopkins (5)
Davante Adams (4)
Keenan Allen (4)
Tyler Lockett (4)
— NFL on CBS 🏈 (@NFLonCBS) March 19, 2023
Cooks has consistently been one of the leading wide receivers in the NFL since arriving in the league in 2014. He has had six 1,000-yard receiving seasons, while he is closing in on 50 receiving touchdowns in the league. This will be his fifth team in the NFL, as he has already played for the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Rams, and the Texans.
There were a lot of franchises interested in signing Cooks, so the Cowboys have done well to convince him to move to Arlington. He has signed a two-year $40 million deal, and he will join CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup in what is a strong triplet of players for quarterback Dak Prescott to throw to.
The acquisition of Cooks will be seen as a strong boost to the Cowboys’ Super Bowl chances. As of June 18, they are priced at odds of +1600 with Betway to win Super Bowl LVIII.
Gilmore Brings Experience to Cornerback Position
Stephon Gilmore, a winner of the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, is now a Cowboys player after penning a one-year deal worth $10 million. Dallas gave up a fifth-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft to acquire the cornerback from the Indianapolis Colts.
The former Carolina cornerback played 16 games for the Colts last season, making 53 solo tackles and 66 combined tackles. It was his best season since he helped the Patriots win the Super Bowl in the 2019/20 campaign.
Gilmore arrives at the franchise with a lot of experience in the league. He remains one of the leading defensive players in the NFL, so it is a big boost for Dallas’ secondary. Cowboys fans will be hoping he can stay injury free over the next two years.
With the addition of Stephon Gilmore, the Cowboys’ defense has some major playmakers 🤩 pic.twitter.com/eZAAWXjCwL
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 14, 2023
The signing of the 32-year-old means the Cowboys now have two of the highest-rated cornerbacks in the NFL, as he will play alongside Trevon Diggs. Gilmour has stated he is relishing playing on the same team as the 2021 NFL Interceptions Leader.
Time Was Right to Release Elliott
After seven years with the franchise, rushing for 8,000 yards, former first-round pick Elliott has now left Dallas. The Cowboys released Elliott to free up some salary space on their roster after his numbers dipped over the last few years.
In his rookie campaign in Dallas, Elliott rushed for 1,631 yards and made 15 rushing touchdowns. Last season he recorded just 876 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.
Tony Pollard, in what was his fourth year in Dallas, led the franchise in rushing yards in 2022, as he recorded over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career. He is expected to be the leading RB in the upcoming campaign as head coach Mike McCarthy has a lot of confidence in the player.
Dallas has signed Ronald Jones II to provide support to Pollard next season. The 25-year-old has been part of the Super Bowl-winning team in two of the last three years. He was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster which lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2021, while back in February, he won a Super Bowl ring with the Kansas City Chiefs when they defeated Philadelphia 38-35.
The Cowboys’ first game of the 2023/24 NFL season will come against divisional rivals New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium on September 10. Before then, they will face Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and Las Vegas Raiders in three preseason games.