The NFL’s new league year and free agency officially begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Don’t expect the Dallas Cowboys to be major players on the open market. They haven’t gone down that road in recent years and have made it clear throughout the off-season they prefer keeping their own guys.
That means right guard Zack Martin should be looking at a significant deal that could make him the team’s highest-paid player.
The salary cap for the 2018 season is $177.2 million.
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Linebacker Anthony Hitchens is leaving for Kansas City to replace former University of Texas great Derrick Johnson, who had a standout 13-year career with the Chiefs.
Here's a look at the Dallas Cowboys unrestricted free agents:
DE DeMarcus Lawrence: After a breakout season, Lawrence received the franchise tag. The Cowboys could try and sign him to a long-term deal, but Lawrence appears willing to play on the $17.143 million tag and try to cash in more next off-season.
LB Anthony Hitchens: He's this version of Barry Church. The Cowboys wanted to sign Church, but couldn’t match what the Jacksonville Jaguars gave him. The Cowboys would’ve liked to have signed Hitchens, but couldn’t match what the Chiefs gave him.
LG Jonathan Cooper: He started 13 games at left guard for the Cowboys, but they’ll look to upgrade that position in free agency or the draft.
LS L.P. Ladouceur: Aledo resident who has never botched a snap in his 13-year career. Sure, cheaper options might exist, but would the Cowboys really want to risk losing a game on a bad snap? He should be re-signed, but could also join former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia in Oakland.
QB Kellen Moore: He retired and is now the team’s quarterbacks coach. Dak Prescott pushed for Moore to be his position coach. You can't get a better endorsement than that.
RB Alfred Morris: Veteran locker room presence and all-around good guy. But better opportunities elsewhere will likely present themselves.
WR Brice Butler: He set a career-high in receiving yards (317), but made some questionable comments after the season. He made it clear that he considers himself a starter and wants to be treated and paid as such. It seems like this reunion is unlikely.
CB Bene Benwikere: Acquired in a trade with Cincinnati, he played in 12 games with no memorable moments. He won’t be a priority this off-season.
OL Byron Bell: Six-year veteran earned the swing tackle job after Chaz Green’s disaster in Atlanta. But the Cowboys will be looking to upgrade here.
OL Joe Looney: Spent two years as a reserve interior lineman with the Cowboys and brought levity to the team. He could be back.
LB Kyle Wilber: He’s been with the Cowboys for six seasons and remains a solid player on special teams. But he could re-join Bisaccia in Oakland as well.