In his third season as head coach, Mike McCarthy guided the Dallas Cowboys to a 12-5 record for the second season in a row. That was good enough for first place in the NFC East in 2021, but they finished behind the Philadelphia Eagles last season. Dallas made it to the Divisional round last season, the deepest they’ve been into the postseason since 2018, and lost a slugfest to the San Francisco 49ers.
Expectations will again be high for the Cowboys, who have a pretty loaded roster. They still have some work to do in the offseason, starting with finding a way to hang onto looming free-agent running back Tony Pollard. They’re expected to use the franchise tag to keep him in Dallas this year. Tight end Dalton Schultz is also a free agent, after getting a one-year deal on the franchise tag last year. Losing him would also leave a huge void in the offense; Schultz was second on the team in receiving yards, targets and reception, and he led the squad with five receiving touchdowns.
On top of the running back and tight end positions, Dallas will have to deal with some defensive players currently ticketed for free agency. That list includes linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, their first-round pick in 2018.
It’s going to take some crafty cap management this offseason in Dallas to keep key players in place and address needs along the offensive line, cornerback, linebacker, etc. Still, Dallas currently has odds of +1400 to win the Super Bowl.
Dallas Cowboys 2023 salary cap space (as of 9:55 a.m., March 19)
Over The Cap: $21,338,911
NFLPA public salary cap report: $15,260,321
The OTC numbers reflect all reported deals even if paperwork is not completely finalized with the league and/or the players’ association. The NFLPA numbers reflect all deals in which paperwork has been finalized and submitted to the players’ association.
Cowboys notable contracts (2023 cap hit)
QB Dak Prescott — $26,832,647
EDGE Demarcus Lawrence — $17.11 million
OG Zack Martin — $19,890,000
RB Tony Pollard — $10,091,000
CB Stephon Gilmore — $9.92 million