Cowboys Tabbed a ‘Best Fit’ for Projected $20 Million Pro Bowler

A Cowboys-Derrick Henry pairing could actually make some sense this offseason.

Getty A Cowboys-Derrick Henry pairing could actually make some sense this offseason.

It could be a longshot, of course, but if the Cowboys really want to give their 2024 season a different approach, if they’re serious about upping their game in terms of toughness and professionalism, then there’s a free agent out there who could probably add just as much to bolster the team in those areas as he can add talent on the field. And considering the guy is one of the all-time great running backs—Titans star Derrick Henry—that means we’re talking a significant level of talent, professionalism and toughness.

On Thursday, veteran NFL analyst Marcus Mosher of The 33rd Team identified the “best fits” for Henry in free agency, and though his style does not fit seamlessly in coach Mike McCarthy’s “Texas Coast” offense, he is the kind of bruising yard-chewer that the Cowboys badly need. Given the Cowboys’ playoff results under McCarthy, the offense should bend to accommodate players like Henry.

That would require, of course, that the Cowboys move off of running back Tony Pollard, the incumbent at running back. While there is a chance that Pollard could come back to Dallas, the team could use an upgrade after a disappointing 2023 in what was Pollard’s first chance as the Cowboys’ main back.


Cowboys Could Play ‘Power Football’ With Derrick Henry

As Mosher wrote of Henry on the site: “Of all the teams mentioned on this list, the Dallas Cowboys might be the worst on-the-field fit. Mike McCarthy’s offense is built out of the shotgun and predicated on throwing a ton of short passes on early downs. … But power football could be something the Cowboys need to get back to doing in this ‘all-in’ season coming up. McCarthy is entering the final year of his deal, and it’s clear the Cowboys are trying to load up for one more run.”

Sure, Henry is 30 years old. In running back years, that is considered ancient around the NFL. But Henry has evolved from his heyday four years ago in 2020, when he rushed for 2,027 yards. He still was No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yardage, at 1,167, and maintained workhorse status with a league-high 280 carries. Additionally, though, he has expanded his game as a pass-catcher, with 61 catches in the last two seasons after catching 94 total passes in his first six years in the NFL combined.

Henry earned a Pro Bowl spot for the fourth time in the last five years this season.

That gives the Cowboys the best of both worlds when it comes to Henry—a grinder who can get short gains when needed, who still can break a long run and who can operate as a receiver out of the backfield.


‘Best Shot at Winning the Super Bowl’

Moreover, Henry can be had at a decent price, around what the Cowboys paid Pollard this year. Spotrac projects his contract at one year and $10.3 million, while Pro Football Focus has Henry getting a deal worth $20 million over two years.

Henry said earlier in the offseason, in an appearance on the “Bussin’ With the Boys” podcast, that his priority is winning—but he is not looking to play for free, either.

“I want to be somewhere that, whatever happens, gives me the best shot at winning the Super Bowl,” Henry said. “The business side, there’s a business side. It has to make sense. I’m not going to just accept anything, at the same time, because it is a long season and we put our bodies through a lot.

“But I definitely want to be on a roster that can go out there and put ourselves in position to win games and get in the playoffs and contend for a ring.”

 

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