5. Carlos Watkins
Another former Cowboy who opted not to prioritize winning when picking a new team, Carlos Watkins ended up signing with the Arizona Cardinals.
Having seen just 4 starts last year after making 11 with the Texans in 2020 and 14 in his first year with the Cowboys in 2022, it looked like Watkins was trying to get himself back on the field rather than just focusing on winning. And you really can’t fault a guy for that. Playing in the NFL is your dream, and sometimes it’s more satisfying to actually get on the field in a loss than to watch a win from the sidelines.
Watkins didn’t officially get the start in his first game with the Cards, but he did play about half of their defensive snaps (the 47% he played would be the second-highest mark of his career if he keeps it up for a whole season), and he made an impact too. Watkins had 1.0 sacks and made a total of 5 tackles.
Pro Football Focus seemed to think those were empty snaps, though, giving him weak grades of 58.7 as a pass-rusher and 49.6 as a run defender.
PFF certainly isn't the only way to analyze a player, however, and the next few games should tell us if Watkins is ready to prove he deserved a starting spot or if he's just putting up empty stats.
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