The Dallas Cowboys might have more big decisions to make in the 2015 NFL offseason than any other team. While some organizations have one top player hitting free agency, two of the Cowboys’ best players became All-Pros in the final year of their contracts.
Dez Bryant would have been one of the most coveted players on the market, but he’ll be in Dallas for at least one more season, having received the franchise tag. Murray remains unsigned with players set to become free agents on March 10, and there’s a real possibility that he’ll be playing for another team in 2015.
The Cowboys want to re-sign Murray, and the running back’s first choice is to return to Dallas. But if he gets a sizeable contract offer elsewhere, his time with the NFC East champs could be done. Dallas has nearly $40 million committed to Bryant and Tony Romo next season, and they might have to restructure the quarterback’s deal in order to give Murray a lucrative deal. The Dallas Morning News reports that the Cowboys prefer not to defer any of the money on Romo’s contract, considering he’ll be 35 years old at the start of the season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are reportedly looking to sign Murray, and they have the means to offer him a contract that the Cowboys wouldn’t match, since they have more salary cap space than any other team. The Oakland Raiders could also make Murray a sizeable offer with their current salary cap situation.
Dallas still has a chance to keep Murray, considering the current market for running backs. After the Philadelphia Eagles found LeSean McCoy expendable enough to trade him, he signed a five-year contract with the Buffalo Bills that will pay him $8 million per year. McCoy has been a more consistent performer than Murray, and the Cowboys could re-sign him if he doesn’t get offered a deal worth more than McCoy’s latest contract.
If the Jaguars do manage to sign Murray, it’ll be the second Cowboys’ free agent that they’ve acquired this offseason. Jacksonville has reportedly signed Jeremy Parnell to a five-year contract worth $32 million. Parnell was a part of what might have been the best offensive line in the NFL last year. The Jaguars might have had the worst offensive line in all of football, allowing Blake Bortles to get sacked a league-leading 55 times.
Sterling Moore hasn’t signed with a new team, but he appears to be headed elsewhere in 2015. Dallas won’t tender the cornerback as a restricted free agent. Moore played in all 16 games in 2014.
The Cowboys have re-signed a few players, preventing them from hitting free agency. They’ve given offensive tackle Doug Free a three-year contract worth $15 million. Earlier in the offseason, Dallas locked Cole Beasley in to a four-year deal worth $13.6 million.