This next 7 days should be interesting for the Cowboys not including the is she or is she not Jerry's daughter. It will in many ways define what the Cowboys will do or have to do in the draft as free agency is where you fill holes so you don't have to draft a certain position.
The Cooper drama no matter which side you fall on will come to a conclusion pretty fast I believe, well before his March 20th guarantee on salary. He could be released, traded and in the upsets or upsets his contract could be restructured. If rumors are correct about a Gallup deal being near done and a Kearse deal being the same then before the 16th at 4pm EST, the Cowboys will either have to restructure other contracts or make a decision on Cooper.
We also have the Demarcus Lawrence saga which at some point in free agency will come about to a decision. That decision will most likely be made if Gregory/Armstrong is resigned and if Dallas strikes a deal with a couple free agents such as Dante Fowler, Jr. and Solomon Thomas as both would be smaller deals.
I believe that the Jones get the contracts done with Gallup, Gregory, Kearse and a couple of other lesser of our free agents like Urban, Watkins and maybe Kazee or Hooker before the start of free agency. Then these are the guys I believe they will attempt to sign.
Dante Fowler, Jr DE – a Quinn favorite and should compliment Gregory or Armstrong on the left side.
Solomon Thomas DE – this would be a surprise to me but entirely possible if they are moving on from Lawrence.
JuJu Smith-Schulter WR – he needs a one year deal to prove himself and has been working out with Lamb and Dak which leads one to believe if there is smoke there could be fire. Again a one year deal or something close to it.
O.J. Howard TE – former 1st round that needs a change of scenery, a Jerry special and maybe just maybe a great signing and probably a 3 year deal. Expect Jarwin to be cut soon.
Will Hernandez LG – many fans will not like because of his stats last year at RG but the previous years at LG where far better. If the draft doesn't go the way we want, then he works the best at not having to reach in the draft.
Justin Reid S/Deshon Elliott S – if we aren't able to resign Kazee or Hooker or even Kearse, one or both make a lot of sense, heck even Marcus Maye could make sense but Jones' aren't going to spend a lot on safety as we all know.
LB – to many names to consider from Wagner, Hicks, Jewell, Johnson, etc. It will come down to what Quinn wants and most likely the biggest ticket item in free agency.
I would look for Anthony Brown and Jordan Lewis to both be traded as their value is high after last year and after about the first 5/6 in the draft they are just as good as the rest and teams always looking for CB. That and the fact that rumors persist that Joseph is ready to start and Quinn really likes what Robinson and Wright are doing says we probably ride with the young guys.
It would take restructures of Collins and one or two others plus getting a deal done with Schultz to lower his cap number this year but should be easily done. Then I think they designate Lawrence as a June 1st cut. That would save us $19 million under the cap which would pay for the draft choices and give them operating money for 2022 and also would free up $21 million on the 2023 cap. A Cooper trade or cut before June 1st frees up $16 million in cap space for 2022 and $18 million in cap space for 2023. The project cap for 2023 is above $238 million of which as it stands with Lawrence and Cooper with would have at $226 million and $190 million without them. Those number don't include resigning this year or draft picks or free agents that get more than 1 year deals.
Those above would help in 2022 and possibly in 2023 and beyond but what it does is let the draft play out without reaching and makes hopefully getting an impact player or two or three easier. None of us know who will be there at #24 or #56 or #88 and everytime we do a mock draft there will always those who believe that this guy or that guy won't be there. If we trust McClay which seems so far a good thing then we get an impact guy or two. Maybe a guy that falls that no one believes would happen because we all know some guys that probably shouldn't go first round will go first round like name any QB in this draft. Free agency will play a big part in the draft whether we believe it or not.