Cowboys Could Make Blockbuster Move for Titans Star Derrick Henry: NFL Insider

Derrick Henry

Getty Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry reacts after a play.

The Dallas Cowboys have made major changes to the team’s running back group, but they could make an even bigger change with Tennessee Titans star Derrick Henry.

Dallas released running back Ezekiel Elliott while franchise tagging Tony Pollard, signaling a changing of the guard. Elliott is entering his 8th NFL season and was the only NFL RB getting paid more than Henry.

Now, ESPN insider Bill Barnwell believes that Henry could be on the chopping block as well. Barnwell believes Henry could be cut after the 2023 NFL draft, and that the Cowboys could be a natural fit for the three-time Pro Bowler.

“The Cowboys could look toward a market that still includes Leonard Fournette, Latavius Murray and Kareem Hunt unsigned. There’s also a chance expensive veterans such as Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook could be released after the draft. Dallas could add a rookie in April’s draft, but Pollard’s uncertain status for Week 1 leads me to believe the team would probably prefer to have a more experienced back on the roster,” Barnwell writes.

It would be a sensational addition to say the least. Dallas has been linked to a RB move in the 2023 NFL draft or in free agency, but the idea of adding Henry is one not many have considered.

Henry Still Vital to Titans Offense

With how the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs built their RB rooms on the way to the Super Bowl (young players on first contracts and cheap veterans,) committing to a high-profile, 29-year-old RB like Henry isn’t in style.

However, there’s no denying that the Titans’ ball carrier is still effective. In fact, the numbers at Pro Football Reference show exactly why he earned another Pro Bowl honor in 2022.

Henry led the NFL in rushes with 349 carries for 1538 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. To take that many touches and to still average 4.4 yards per carry is impressive, and his average was .6 yards higher than Elliott’s in 2022.

The primary issues with Henry on the Cowboys start with his usage and then his salary. If Henry joins Dallas, he will split carries in a way he hasn’t before. Dallas didn’t franchise-tag Pollard so he could sit on the bench.

Then, it becomes about Henry playing for the right price. The Titans RB will cause a $16.4 million cap hit in 2023, and it’s hard imagining him taking a deal with a yearly value of even half of that.

Cowboys Could Reunite with Zeke

Besides mentioning free agent options Dallas could still pursue, Barnwell also believes that the Cowboys could end up bringing back Elliott in the 2023 offseason.

Releasing Elliott was a necessity due to his high salary, but a lack of free agency interest could lead him back to Dallas.

“What could be next: Elliott’s return. A reunion could be in the cards if he doesn’t find what he’s looking for on the open market. Elliott had reportedly narrowed down his list of teams to the Bengals, Eagles and Jets, but none of those teams appears to be interested in finalizing a deal with the 27-year-old,” Barnwell wrote.

If Elliott were to come back to the Cowboys, it would be on a significantly-reduced contract and he would probably receive opportunities as a No. 2 running back would, rather than splitting carries with Pollard.

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