Cowboys Called Out for Passing on Derrick Henry After He Lands With AFC Powerhouse


Getty Images The Dallas Cowboys missed out on the chance to sign Derrick Henry, who lands with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Dallas Cowboys appear to be sitting out the strongest free agent running back market in years, a move that puzzles one of the sport’s most informed analysts.

Shortly after the Baltimore Ravens swooped in to agree to terms with two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry, ESPN’s Louis Riddick unloaded on the Cowboys’ approach at the running back position.

“Derrick Henry to #RavensFlock is absolutely lethal,” Riddick posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “It’s so good. I don’t understand why this didn’t seem to appeal to you #Cowboys. Made too much sense.”

Prior to arriving at ESPN, Riddick worked in NFL personnel for 14 seasons, including a four-year stint as the Philadelphia Eagles‘ director of pro personnel, so his criticism of the Cowboys carries some significant weight.

Henry’s deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who notes that the All-Pro back intends to sign a two-year contract worth $16 million that can escalate as high as $20 million and includes $9 million guaranteed for the 2024 season.

Through the first eight seasons of his career, Henry has rushed for 9,502 yards with 90 touchdowns.

However, Henry is more than an explosive between the tackles-runner and open-field weapon, he’s also a factor in the passing game having logged 155 career receptions for 1,458 yards and three more touchdowns.

How Derrick Henry’s Agreement Stacks Up

Perhaps what makes the Cowboys deciding not to sign Henry so perplexing is that the agreement he wound up coming to terms with in Baltimore is well within Dallas’ price range.

Henry’s signing follows the Eagles coming to terms with Saquon Barkley, on a deal that averages out to $12.5 million, annually, Josh Jacobs collecting $12 million, annually from the Green Bay Packers, and the Washington Commanders committing $11.43 million, total, to Austin Ekeler over two seasons.

To Riddick’s point, unless the Cowboys are set on drafting a running back this year, it’s difficult to envision finding a better deal than Henry would have provided at $10 million per season, being the maximum on the contract he agreed to.

Henry has surpassed 1,000 rushing yards in five of the past six seasons and is coming off a 1,167 rushing yards and 12 touchdown campaign.

It would have been easy to envision Henry filling a need in the Cowboys’ backfield, especially after Pro Football Focus points out that Henry rattled off 23 explosive runs (10+ yards), forced 57 missed tackles, and averaged 3.32 yards per carry after contact.

Instead, Henry lands in the same backfield alongside MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the Cowboys are left scouring for answers for how to fill out theirs.

Cowboys Make First Signing of Free Agency

Shopping at the top of the free agent market was always going to be a difficult proposition for the Cowboys this offseason.

After all, Dallas entered free agency with only $8.8 million in cap space. However, the Cowboys did agree to terms with their first signing of free agency on March 12.

The Cowboys are re-signing long-snapper Trent Sieg, in a move first reported by ESPN’s Todd Archer.

Sieg, 28, arrived in Dallas after signing a one-year contract before the 2023 season and helped significantly elevate the Cowboys’ special teams units.

Bringing Sieg back for the 2024 campaign ensures that the Cowboys are keeping their special teams batteries; with Sieg, kicker Brandon Aubrey, and punter Bryan Anger returning, intact.

Read More