At first, it appeared the Dallas Cowboys had let their opportunity to win the NFC East slip away from them. A blowout loss to the Buffalo Bills dropped them to 10-4 and they were suddenly a half-game behind the Philadelphia Eagles. Then, the Eagles dropped a game they should have won when Drew Lock led Seattle on a game-winning drive on Monday Night Football.
Now, the Cowboys are back in first thanks to a tie-breaker. That tie-breaker could change but they also need to take care of the final three games on their schedule. While they're focused on this, starting with the Miami Dolphins in Week 16, we look ahead to the 2024 season with three players they need to move on from in order to improve.
3. Jayron Kearse, Safety
For years, the Cowboys criminally undervalued the safety position. Adding Dan Quinn as the defensive coordinator seemed to fix the issue. His arrival was followed by the signing of Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, and Damonae Kazee.
Hooker and Kearse were then signed to extensions and this past offseason, Donovan Wilson was locked up as well. They even showed Kearse some love by bumping up his deal in 2023. Unfortunately, their secondary hasn't been the same. Much of that is due to Kearse not playing at the same level.
His PFF grade has fallen to 47.3 — down from 75.9 and 71.9 in the previous two seasons. He's still formidable in run support but has been a liability in coverage. Hitting free agency this offseason, Kearse will be 30 years old in February. He has indeed meant a lot to this defensive resurgence but to keep playing at a high level, it's time for Dallas to move on.