The Dallas Cowboys could still make moves this offseason with more than $10 million in additional cap space created following Ezekiel Elliott’s post-June 1 release designation. Pro Football Focus’ Marcus Mosher believes the Cowboys will still add to their backfield labeling former Buccaneers star running back Leonard Fournette as a potential target.
“I do get the sense that they’re probably going to bring in another veteran or two like you mentioned,” Mosher detailed during a May 31, 2023 episode of “Locked on Cowboys.” “Remember the Cowboys signed Anthony Barr once training camp started last year. Maybe they’ll do a similar move. I’m still looking at the running back position.
“That’s still one where I feel like [a move is coming]. I don’t think it’s going to be Ezekiel Elliott coming back, but maybe it’s somebody like a Leonard Fournette or somebody just to give them something else in that backfield. I’m looking at that position.”
Potential Cowboys Target Leonard Fournette Is Projected to Land a 2-Year, $4.6 Million Contract
Fournette remains a free agent following his release by the Bucs in March, per his request. The running back signed a three-year, $21 million contract with Tampa Bay during the 2022 offseason.
Given the declining financial deals of running backs around the league, Fournette is unlikely to find a similar deal for 2023. Spotrac projects Fournette’s market value to a be a reasonable two-year, $4.6 million contract.
Leonard Fournette Posted a Career-High 523 Receiving Yards for the Buccaneers in 2022
The Cowboys may be able to sign Fournette to an affordable one-year, prove-it deal to add competition to the backfield. Dallas is expected to lean on Tony Pollard as the team’s lead back this season, but the playmaker is coming off a fractured fibula.
Fournette proved to be a vital part of the Buccaneers passing attack last season posting a career-high 523 receiving yards and three touchdowns through the air. The former top-five pick also added 189 carries for 668 rushing yards and three TDs averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.
Mike McCarthy on Cowboys Running Backs: ‘I Don’t Think You Go Out & Replace Zeke’
Dallas signed Fournette’s former Bucs teammate Ronald Jones II earlier this offseason and drafted versatile Kansas State standout Deuce Vaughn. While Elliott remains a free agent, all signs point to the Cowboys moving on from the team’s former franchise running back.
“I don’t think you just go out and replace Zeke,” McCarthy explained on May 25, per The Athletic’s Jon Machota. “I’ve never viewed it that way. Business, cap economics, that’s real. You make decisions and sometimes the decisions definitely factor in the next decision or two that’s coming down the road.
“We were just doing short yardage and goal line last night and he just jumps off the tape. This really isn’t about replacing Zeke. It’s really about opportunities for the young guys. Tony’s opportunity to be the lead back. We’re just getting all those guys ready. Deuce is the new guy. It’s been cool to see him implemented into the things we’ve been doing here the last week. The group will look different because his presence is not there any more.”