Cowboys Could Enter Free Agency Race with Steelers for Ex-Bengals WR

Former Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd could be an option for the Dallas Cowboys

Getty Former Cincinnati Bengals WR Tyler Boyd could be an option for the Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys have yet to add a receiver after setting Michael Gallup for release, but one former Cincinnati Bengals WR is still available. It won’t necessarily be cheap, but Tyler Boyd may have the best resume of any free agent receiver still available.

The reason Boyd is available is due to his contract demands (more on that below,) but it’s still surprising that he hasn’t come to some form of deal with the Bengals or another team yet. Even in a “down” year, Boyd was still an important and effective weapon on a Bengals offense that navigated the loss of QB Joe Burrow halfway through the 2023 season.

Boyd’s 667 yards in 2023 was his lowest total since his second NFL season in 2017. Normally, that kind of regression is concerning, but being able to produce with a backup throwing the ball is encouraging.

Boyd plays bigger than his 6’2″ frame and is a different enough WR from the likes of CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks that he could have a critical role in the Cowboys’ offense. That being said, Dallas’ current approach in the market certainly doesn’t point toward a big WR signing.

Why Boyd is Available and Why the Cowboys Can Afford Him

In recent weeks, Boyd has been linked to a move to the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, things seemingly cooled down as fast as they heated up due to Boyd’s contract demands. According to the Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, Pittsburgh doesn’t want to meet those numbers.

“They’re trying to wait out Tyler Boyd,” Kaboly said on 93.7 The Fan. “I’m not quite sure how that’s going to end up going down here. I know that he wants to get paid more than they’re offering him.”

That opens the door for Dallas or any other team potentially interested. However, it’s not clear what Boyd is asking and what the Steelers’ ceiling is. Spotrac estimates that Boyd’s market value is around $8.7 million a year, and that a three-year deal is appropriate.

The Cowboys only have about $5 million in cap space right now, but covering the rest wouldn’t be much of a challenge. Fans have already seen the team restructure QB Dak Prescott’s contract, and a similar move could open up the funds.

Tyler Boyd’s Extended Run with Bengals

A second-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, Boyd played his college ball at Pittsburgh and hit the field as an RB and a WR. Since arriving in Cincinnati though, he has developed into an out-and-out possession receiver.

Boyd first started to make waves on the national level in 2018. After just 828 total receiving yards in his first two seasons, Pro Football Reference shows that Boyd led the Bengals with 1028 and 1046 receiving yards in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

The arrival of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins reduced Boyd’s role, but he has still been a consistent threat. Over the past four seasons, Boyd has averaged 775 receiving yards and 3.8 touchdowns per year.

Those aren’t mind-melting numbers, but they are reliable and solid. If the Cowboys don’t have plans to add a dynamic talent in the draft, going the reliable route with a veteran like Boyd is a safe choice.