What the 2023 roster of the Dallas Cowboys will look like is slowly coming into shape with the team’s latest moves in free agency.
The Cowboys have made it a point to return many of their role players, such as safety Donovan Wilson and running back Rico Dowdle. They’ve added new blood of course too, but there is a clear effort to preserve the core of the squad.
The latest effort to do that is the Cowboys re-signing defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. to a one-year deal. Dallas Morning News reporter Calvin Watkins was the first to report the deal by posting on Twitter on March 21.
“The Cowboys will re-sign DE Dante Fowler to a one-year deal according to a person with knowledge of the signing. @dmn_cowboys,” Watkins posted
Fowler played his first season for Dallas in 2022 after previous stints with the Los Angeles Rams, Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars. According to Pro Football Reference, he has 41 total sacks across his eight years in the league.
Fowler has had an established relationship with Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn from their time together in Atlanta, and now they get to continue working together.
Fowler’s First Year on Dallas Roster
When Dallas brought in Fowler for the 2022 season, the role was clear: rotate onto the field and get sacks. The Cowboys’ starting defensive ends Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence aren’t losing their spots, so the former Florida Gator needed to make the most of his opportunities off the bench.
It’s fair to say that he did that and then some. The 28-year-old registered six sacks and two forced fumbles, with two passes defended and an extra tackle for loss to boot.
Considering Dallas paid him just $3 million in 2022 according to Spotrac, that’s tremendous value. The contract details for his second deal aren’t public, but the Cowboys are likely willing to take their chances with a small pay raise.
There’s also the intangible factor: Fowler wants to be in Dallas and with Quinn. Having talented players is important, but so is having players that genuinely want to play for the team.
Cowboys Add RB in Free Agency
Besides Dallas re-signing Fowler on March 21, they also made another noteworthy addition by signing former Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones.
ESPN reporter Todd Archer was the first to report the signing of the 25-year-old running back.
“The Cowboys have agreed to a deal with RB Ronald Jones, who visited The Star Monday, per source. Jones spent last year with KC after a four-year run with Tampa Bay. His best year was in 2020: 192 carries, 978 yards, 7 TDs. He played in only six games last year with Chiefs,” Archer posted on Twitter.
As Heavy’s Jonathan Adams covered, Dallas moved quickly in terms of signing Jones after multiple reports began connecting the team and player. It was going to be interesting to see if the Cowboys immediately found a new RB after cutting Ezekiel Elliott.
Jones will now have an opportunity to be the alternate back to RB Tony Pollard, but he will have to compete with Malik Davis, Rico Dowdle and any RBs Dallas potentially adds in the draft.