5 Key Cowboys Who Will Be Free Agents After 2023 Season

How many of these guys can the Cowboys afford to lose in the 2024 offseason?

Tyron Smith is among the Cowboys' upcoming free agents set to hit the market at the start of the 2024 offseason.
Tyron Smith is among the Cowboys' upcoming free agents set to hit the market at the start of the 2024 offseason. / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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Dante Fowler

After breaking out as a starter, Dante Fowler was willing to play a reduced rotational role in Dan Quinn’s defense in Dallas.

Fowler totally thrived in the role, recording 6.0 sacks (third-highest of his career) while playing just 343 snaps (lowest of his career by a big margin). He's struggled against the run for years, and saving his energy to work as a situational pass-rusher did a lot to bring out the best in Fowler.

And of course it doesn't hurt that he's rushing opposite one of the best EDGE players in the NFL in Micah Parsons.

And that means this relationship is probably more beneficial for Fowler than it is for the Cowboys. Dan Quinn is one of the best DCs in the NFL. He's going to be able to get solid production out of cost-effective players in Fowler's role pretty much every year.

Fowler clearly knows that's the case, because he re-signed in Dallas for his second one-year deal, getting just $3 million for 2023.

If someone gets excited and overpays the 29-year-old then the Cowboys should have no trouble letting him walk. But if he wants to keep getting to work in a defense where he gets a decent salary while playing to his biggest strengths, then we could see Fowler accept yet another team-friendly deal to stay in Dallas.