See where Cowboys players rank among top 2023 free agents

With the offseason in full swing, the Dallas Cowboys might have an uphill battle in regards to free agency.Some of the club’s top playmakers will either receive a franchise tag, or hit the market in search of a more lucrative deal that suits their talents. According to ESPN’s Matt Bowen, tight end Dalton Schultz and running back Tony Pollard are among the top 50 free agents on the market in 2023.

Even though he hasn’t played since Super Bowl LVI, Odell Beckham Jr. is also on the list. Cowboys fans know about the interest the Dallas franchise had in the veteran receiver in the regular season. That interest apparently hasn’t dissipated.

Let’s take a look at the free agent playmakers with ties to the Cowboys.

11. TE Dalton Schultz

Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) celebrates a first quarter touchdown catch...
Dallas Cowboys tight end Dalton Schultz (86) celebrates a first quarter touchdown catch against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a Wild Card Playoff game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, January 16, 2023.(Tom Fox / Staff Photographer)

Even with the rise of rookie tight ends Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot, Schultz continued to prove his worth as a reliable pass-catching option for quarterback Dak Prescott in 2022.

Schultz was second on the team in receiving yards (577) and receiving touchdowns (5) in the regular season. He also made some big grabs in the Cowboys’ two playoff games, catching 12 passes for 122 yards and three scores. The tight end played on the franchise tag last season after his representatives and the Dallas organization didn’t engage in last-ditch efforts for a new deal.

Bowen: “Schultz’s postseason production — 12 receptions, 122 yards and three touchdowns in two games — should erase any questions about a knee injury that slowed him earlier in the season. He’s a vertical seam stretcher who can be schemed on play-action or boot to use his ability to run after the catch. He has some speed when he gets free. Plus, Schultz — another guy who played on the franchise tag — won’t turn 27 until July.”

18. RB Tony Pollard

Jacksonville Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins (2) tackles Dallas Cowboys running back Tony...
Jacksonville Jaguars safety Rayshawn Jenkins (2) tackles Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) during the first quarter of the Dallas Cowboys at Jacksonville Jaguars NFL game on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla..(Juan Figueroa / Staff Photographer)

Pollard could be one of the top running backs on the market after posting the first 1,000-yard season of his career in 2022. The speedy back showed quick burst on the field and was Dallas’ most productive rusher, despite splitting carries with Ezekiel Elliott.

The running back could be a candidate to play under the franchise tag next season, but the leg injuries he suffered against San Francisco in a divisional round playoff could affect his value on the market. Pollard underwent surgery for a high ankle sprain in January.

Bowen: “Pollard slips down these rankings after he fractured his left fibula in the postseason loss to San Francisco. He showed during the season, however, that he has the traits of a lead back with a dual-threat upside. While splitting touches with Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard rushed for a career-high 1,007 yards while averaging 9.5 yards per catch on 39 receptions, earning a trip to the Pro Bowl. When healthy, Pollard has big-play ability and formation flexibility in the pass game.”

25. WR Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. talks to people during the first half of an NBA game...
NFL free agent Odell Beckham Jr. talks to people during the first half of an NBA game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, Monday, Dec. 5, 2022.(Elías Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

In search of a veteran presence to add their offense, the Cowboys hosted Beckham on a two-day visit in the regular season. After word got out that Beckham’s ACL rehab would extend into the postseason, Dallas moved on and signed T.Y. Hilton.

On Wednesday, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the team would continue exploring the free agent receiver. Since entering the league in 2014, Beckham has posted 531 catches for 7,367 yards and 56 touchdowns.

Bowen: “Beckham missed the entire season after he tore the ACL in his left knee during the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI victory last February. If the knee checks out in physicals, however, we know he can still make an impact as a No. 2 receiver. In 12 games with the Rams in 2021 — including the playoffs — Beckham caught 48 passes for 593 yards and seven touchdowns. Based on what I saw on that tape, Beckham has lost some of the explosion that made him one of the NFL’s most dynamic players a few years ago. Still, there’s detail to his route running; he can create immediate separation at the line of scrimmage.”

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