3 mistakes the team is destined to make in 2023 offseason

Dallas Cowboys

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. (Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys face an important 2023 offseason in which they need to nail every move. Naturally, they are instead going to make some big mistakes.

Despite how disheartening the end of the season was for the Dallas Cowboys, there is still reason to be optimistic about the team moving forward. Dak Prescott has proven he can lead a winning team, Tony Pollard likely isn’t leaving, Micah Parsons and the defensive core look elite and the team just needs to get over the playoff hump.

All that’s required for the Cowboys to really have their best chance to make the leap in the 2023 season is for the 2023 offseason to go smoothly. Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones simply need to be smart with the moves they make.

Naturally, they’re not going to do that. The mistakes will happen and the finger-pointing cycle of the past 26 years will continue.

Call it the cynicism of Cowboys fandom, malcontent birthed in firing Kellen Moore while handing the reins to Mike McCarthy, or just an overall lack of faith, but there’s a sinking sense of inevitability that things are going to poorly for Dallas this offseason. Specifically, it feels like at least three mistakes are definitely going to be made heading into 2023, no matter what.

Cowboys: 3 mistakes the team is destined to make this offseason

3. The Cowboys are definitely going to keep Ezekiel Elliott

Ezekiel Elliott should not be on the Dallas Cowboys roster when Week 1 arrives. That’s a tough pill to swallow, without question, but it’s the truth of the matter. The explosive and highly effective runner is no longer the player wearing No. 21 with a star on his helmet, though.

Elliott averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per carry last season. But it’s actually worse than, that. Over the final six games of the year, he was only getting 3.28 yards per tote. That’s abysmal. And while some would like to blame injuries, the fact of the matter is that the veteran has been getting banged up consistently for the past couple of years. It’s another detraction, not a valid excuse.

The Cowboys could save $10.9 million by cutting or trading Elliott after June 1, which would be preferable, but could also save $4.86 million if he were let go before June 1, per Over the Cap. For a player who is just simply not producing at the level he once was and almost surely isn’t going to turn that around, that would be the most sensible option.

Yet, with the loyalty that the Jones family has shown Zeke, it’s all too easy to see a restructured contract to hang onto him or, in the worst-case scenario, just moving forward with this current deal. It’s not smart, but the fact that it doesn’t seem out of character for this front office is the issue.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that all indications are that the Cowboys are going to hold onto Tony Pollard for at least the 2023 season by way of the franchise tag. But if he’s still conceding too much work to a no-longer-effective Zeke, then the shimmer of that silver lining starts to fade pretty quickly.

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