The latest Dallas Cowboys rumors offer speculation that starting safety Jayron Kearse may leave in free agency. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine breaks down some of the Cowboys’ most regrettable decisions at the trade deadline.
The analyst believes the front office should have dealt Kearse since the safety is “set to leave” Dallas. Dallas opted not to make a move at the deadline despite other NFC contenders like the Eagles, 49ers and Seahawks making significant trades. Ballentine argues that Kearse is a strong candidate to leave the Cowboys following the season.
“But his time with the Cowboys could be coming to a close,” Ballentine details in his November 8, 2023 column “Decisions the Cowboys Should Regret 1 Week After Trade Deadline.” “He’s set to be a free agent in 2024 and Dan Quinn has developed several other safeties who are capable of absorbing the snaps that would be vacated by Kearse’s departure.
“Earlier in the season Kearse was on the field for every defensive snap. Since the by week, he’s seen a reduction in those snaps. Donovan Wilson and Malik Hooker are playing more than Kearse with Juanyeh Thomas waiting in the wings,” Ballentine continues.
“Kearse is a good player, but the Cowboys had an opportunity to trade from a position of strength to either address a need or get more draft picks. With Kearse set to leave in free agency, it might have been wise to see what they could get for him.”
Dallas Cowboys Safety Jayron Kearse Is Earning the Lowest PFF Grade of His Career
“We know what we got, we know what we got next week..let’s get this out the way quick”
Is it Sunday yet?? pic.twitter.com/77D6ibl5TR
— Sherri Only Son™ (@iamDame2Cold) November 1, 2023
Kearse is in the final season of a two-year, $10 million contract. The safety has a $4 million salary and $6.1 million cap hit for 2023.
The counter to Ballentine’s argument is Kearse is unlikely to have had a great deal of trade value. The defender has just months remaining on his deal, and has had his worst season of his career, per Pro Football Focus. Kearse grades at a 51.9 (out of 100) through the first nine weeks of the season.
This is down considerably from the 70.2 grade Kearse earned in 2022. If the Cowboys view things similarly as PFF, there might be plenty of reasons to allow Kearse to walk.
Kearse has 37 tackles, 3 pass deflections, one interception and a sack in eight appearances this season. Given the decline in production, Dallas could also look to re-sign Kearse at a reduced rate.
Cowboys Rumors: Could Dallas Move on From Tony Pollard?
Cowboys RB Tony Pollard on feeling a big game is coming for him in the near future: “It’s coming. I just know it is. Speak it into existence.” pic.twitter.com/uCMjtmFFfM
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 1, 2023
Dallas faces plenty of decisions on a number of additional key players set to hit free agency. Some of the upcoming Cowboys free agents also include Tyron Smith, Tony Pollard, Stephon Gilmore, Dante Fowler Jr., Johnathan Hankins and Tyler Biadasz among others.
Pollard is one of the more interesting players to watch this offseason. The running back is playing on the $10 million franchise tag in 2023. Pollard has not topped 55 rushing yards in five straight games. It is worth watching to see if Dallas turns to the draft to find a cheaper RB1 option rather than re-signing Pollard.
Spotrac projects Pollard’s market value to be a three-year, $20 million contract. Given his inconsistent production this season, it is hard to imagine Pollard finding this lucrative of a deal. Cowboys rumors will heat up in the coming months regarding their future running back.