Cowboys Urged to Sign Projected $39 Million Ex-Draft Bust

Cowboys potential signee Mekhi Becton, who remains a free agent

Getty Cowboys potential signee Mekhi Becton, who remains a free agent

In trying to explain the lack of activity from the Dallas Cowboys at the opening of NFL free agency last month, team VP Stephen Jones suggested that sitting out the first few days of the process was wise because teams tend to overpay, and the shrewd bargains can be had once the dust settles.

The dust has settled, though. And the Cowboys have still done precious little on the market despite glaring needs at running back, receiver, linebacker, and the defensive line. Perhaps the most glaring need: Offensive line, where mainstay left tackle Tyron Smith was lost to the Jets and center Tyler Biadasz has left for Washington.

That’s 40% of the offensive line gone, including the most important spot in the group. The Cowboys could move Tyler Smith over to tackle from left guard to replace Tyron Smith, though coach Mike McCarthy has said the initial plan is to leave Smith where he is. Either TJ Bass or Chuma Edoga could wind up with the starting nod, with third-year player Brock Hoffman taking over at center.

Maybe there is another solution, though: Dusting off the little-used free-agent pen and signing massive former Jets first-round pick Mekhi Becton.

Cowboys Could Benefit From OL Depth

That’s the notion from Bleacher Report, in an article on Sunday titled, “1 Free Agent Still on the Market Who Can Help Each NFL Team in 2024.” For the Cowboys, that free agent is Becton, whose ability to play multiple spots on the line is a strong suit. He was a right tackle in college and has played there in the NFL, but was primarily a left tackle.

Becton is still only 24 (he turns 25 next week). Here’s how B/R sees it:

“Right now, Tyler Smith is projected to make the switch from left guard to left tackle but signing Becton could keep the All-Pro at his best position. Even if Dallas wants to leave Smith on the edge, the former Jet has experience playing right tackle after making a couple of starts there last season and dating back to his college days at Louisville.”

Becton could be the answer, then, at a number of positions on the offensive line, and could be had at a low cost. Pro Football Focus projects him warranting a one-year, $5 million contract. That’s probably about what he would get at this point, given the lack of cap space out there.

But he is a bargain. Spotrac puts his market value at $12.9 million per year and projects him being worthy of a three-year, $39 million contract.

Mekhi Becton Injuries Have Sunk Career

Pro Football Focus has Becton ranked as the No. 48 overall player in free agency, among the top remaining unsigned players.

Much was expected out of Becton when he was selected by New York with the 11th overall pick in 2020 NFL draft. But a fractured kneecap in Becton’s surgically repaired right knee kept that from happening, an injury that Becton blamed on the Jets. The 6-foot-7, 363-pound Becton played one game between his rookie season and 2023, both because of injury and poor conditioning.

But after declining his 2024 option, the Jets actually got a healthy, decent season out of Becton, as he rejoined the Jets’ starting group for 16 games—he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 10 and missed all of Week 11. Though he has been a draft bust to this point, he still has upside, even if he needs to increase his conditioning and professionalism.

For a team in need of offensive line depth at a bargain price, like the Cowboys, Becton would be a high-upside signing.

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