Time will tell if the Dallas Cowboys will be going “all in” when free agency hits as owner Jerry Jones hinted. There are plenty of notable star receivers that could be available.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wideout Mike Evans is one of the players who is slated to hit free agency. Could the Cowboys be looking to pair another star receiver with CeeDee Lamb? Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox is urging Dallas to avoid making a run at Evans.
“There’s a very good chance that Dallas will be in the wide receiver market when free agency officially opens on March 13,” Knox wrote in a February 12, 2024 story titled, “Cowboys’ Top Players to Avoid in 2024 NFL Free Agency.” “The Cowboys have some decent depth now, but receivers Michael Gallup and Brandin Cooks are both potential cap casualties.
“…However, Evans is also set to turn 31 in August and is going to command a hefty salary. He has a projected market value of $23.8 million annually, which Dallas could likely only afford with a back-loaded deal,” Knox added.
“With contract extensions looming for both CeeDee Lamb and Dak Prescott, can’t afford to commit a ton of future salary to Evans, who might only be a temporary fix at the receiver position anyway.”
Buccaneers Star Receiver Mike Evans’ Market Value Projects to Be a 4-Year, $95.3 Million Deal
Baker campaigning for Mike Evans to be a Buccaneer for life. Says they both have talked about wanting to return to Tampa.
— JC Cornell (@CornellNFL) February 7, 2024
Evans is likely out of the Cowboys’ price range, especially considering CeeDee Lamb is headed for a lucrative contract extension. Spotrac projections has Dallas more than $20 million above the salary cap for 2024.
The Cowboys have some work just to get below the cap for next season. For context, Evans just completed a five-year, $82 million contract.
Spotrac projects Evans market value to be a four-year, $95.3 million deal. That’s a lot of money for a 30-year-old playmaker to be a team’s second wideout.
Mike Evans Would Give the Cowboys an Elite Red Zone Threat
Here are the latest next team odds for Mike Evans 👇 pic.twitter.com/O0ukw0Kos8
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) February 12, 2024
As for the team fit, Evans would give Dallas a tall, physical receiver who is an elite red zone threat. The Cowboys red zone struggles in 2023 have been well-documented.
Evans has had double-digit touchdowns in three of the last four seasons. The star wideout proved he has not lost a step notching 79 receptions for 1,255 yards and 13 touchdowns in 17 games.
Evans has been remarkably durable playing in at least 16 contests for three of the last four seasons. The advantages of having Evans wearing a star on his helmet are plentiful. Yet, the cost to make it happen likely make the idea a non-starter.
Cowboys Rumors: Dak Prescott May Not Sign a Contract Extension This Offseason
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 11, 2024
Part of the Cowboys’ current cap conundrum relates to Dak Prescott’s cap hit of $59.4 million. Prescott is entering the final season of a four-year, $160 million contract. An extension gives Dallas a chance to lower the quarterback’s cap number.
Not everyone is convinced Prescott is motivated to come to the negotiation table this offseason. ESPN’s Dan Graziano points out that Prescott has a lot of leverage given his no franchise tag clause.
“We shouldn’t assume the Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott will agree on a contract extension before the start of the 2024 season,” Graziano detailed in a February 10 story titled, “Super Bowl buzz: Latest on NFL free agency, draft, coaches.” “There are multiple reasons, but the main one is Prescott has unprecedented contract leverage and a history of not conceding easily in contract talks.”