What ‘Following the Money’ tells us about potential Cowboys draft plans

The Dallas Cowboys have a process when it comes to how they build their roster. We know the team is focused on the draft and hardly ever gets their feet wet in free agency. The team was so consistent that it became easier and easier to recognize patterns and even visualize what that front office would do.

When it comes to the draft, it’s no different. They have a process. The team is well aware of the kind of players they want and tries to adhere to these guidelines. In fact, cowboys have become so predictable over the years that people have been able to collect some of these behaviors and provide some draft guidelines to help us understand what they are going to do next.

Former BTB alumnus and current managing editor at Cowboys Wire, KD Drummond, is one of those people who has paid close attention over the years as he helped author the Cowboys “Draft Ten Commandments.” Its latest edition just came out, and it’s highly recommended to review it to help get a better sense of what the Cowboys will be up to later this month.

On this week’s episode of The Star Seminar, KD joined forces with Rabblerouser and I to go through these wills and see if we can get any clues as to what it might be like. Be sure to subscribe to The Boys podcast wherever you get your podcast so you don’t miss out on any of our shows! Apple devices can sign up here and Spotify users can sign up here.

One of the commandments, “You have to follow the money,” created a fun conversation that could see the Cowboys trying to replace some of their overpriced players. Here are some things that money path theory might alert us to…

Could Dalton Schultz just be a one-year lease?

Many fans were surprised when the Cowboys flagged the franchise on potential agent Dalton Schultz at a 2022 cost of $10.9 million. Do cowboys love him very much? Can.

It’s hard to know exactly what the team’s long-term plans are with him, but they clearly appreciate his services. Does this mean that a contract extension is on the horizon? The front office may choose to extend it or it may opt for a wait-and-see approach. The Cowboys have four tight ends as part of their primer visits (Caddy Otton, Jeremy Ruckert, Gilani Woods and Jalen Widdermayer). It just so happens that they’re all grouped into the round 3 to 4 range, so it paints a small picture of when the Cowboys might hit the draft to get their tight end. And while all of these possibilities are unique in their own way, it’s hard not to notice that one of them (Otton) is similar to Schultz’s version. If the Cowboys can craft it, they may find themselves in a smooth transition for 2023.

We have to give something away when running backwards

The Cowboys have already invested quite a bit of money going back to back as no other team in the league has more money dedicated to the job. In fact, the Cowboys spend 20% more than the next top team (Tennessee, who has Derek Henry on contract). Ezekiel Elliott is to blame as he maxed out at $18.2 million this year.

Financially, the Cowboys are stuck with Elliott this year, but they can get out of future debt by releasing him after the season. Such a move would change $65 million of future ceiling space to just $11.8.

Of course, that means cowboys would be without your costume. Unfortunately, it will come around the same time as Tony Pollard’s debutante deal expires. In short, the Cowboys can go from having two good backs to none in just one season.

The Cowboys could advance this issue by going back to shop again in the next draft. Although no one expects them to use the premium capital draft in this position, don’t be surprised if the Cowboys act a little earlier than expected or maybe even throw a few darts late into the center. If they can find something consistent, it can save them quite a bit of money in the future.

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