Demarcus Lawrence, Defensive End, stay.
Lawrence is one of those players that a team must find a way to keep, no matter the circumstances. Coming off of back-to-back seasons with double-digit sack totals, Dallas needs to do whatever is necessary to reward their franchise pass-rusher with a fresh new long-term contract.
Tavon Austin, Wide Receiver, go.
Austin, acquired by Dallas in a trade with the Rams that sent Los Angeles a sixth-round draft pick last April, wasn’t able to make an impact with his game breaking speed and athleticism in 2018. The 28-year-old speedster caught just eight passes on 13 targets and rushed six times for 55 yards last season.
Terrance Williams, Wide Receiver, go.
The Cowboys were kind enough to do this one for me. It was reported on Monday that Dallas had declined Williams’ 2019 team option, making the 29-year-old pass catcher a free agent.
Cole Beasley, Wide Receiver, stay.
Beasley has been something for the Cowboys that only a few teams have in the NFL: a good slot receiver. Beasley is arguably the league’s best slot receiver, competing for that title with names like Julian Edelman of the Patriots, Sterling Shepard of the Giants, Golden Tate of the Eagles, and Adam Humpries of the Buccaneers. Beasley is unlikely to command a big contract, which should make it hard for Dallas to say no to bringing him back.
David Irving, Defensive Tackle, go.
Irving’s status is identical to that of Terrance Williams. Like Williams, it was reported on Monday that the Cowboys have “no intention” of keeping the 26-year-old interior defender.
Cameron Fleming, Tackle, stay.
While he’s not a starter for the Cowboys, Fleming is a player that can come in at any point in any game and hold his own. Given all the recent shuffling along the Cowboys’ offensive line following the retirement of Doug Free last year, and with star center Travis Frederick fighting a rare disease known as Guillian Barre Syndrome, Dallas should look at retaining and adding solid depth, as well as upgrading on the offensive front. Keeping Fleming is a start.
Jamize Olawale, Fullback, go.
Olawale can relate to so many others that play the position of Fullback in the modern day NFL. fullbacks are seldom used and are mostly on rosters to serve as emergency depth options if a team’s running back depth chart is dangerously thin. While Olawale has unlikely speed and pass catching skills for a fullback, the Cowboys already employ a few players that can handle Olawale’s role just fine in 2019 and beyond.
L.P. Ladouceur, Long Snapper, stay.
Ladouceur has been long snapping in Dallas since 2005 and the team has been reported to look at extending that tenure as of last weekend. Having continuity at the long snapper position is often unnoticed and underappreciated in the NFL, but Dallas has it with Ladouceur. He has a fantastic name, too.
Damien Wilson, Linebacker, go.
Throughout his four-year career, Wilson has been a depth player in Dallas. While making an impact and even starting at times, Dallas can move on and fill his role with minimal trouble.
Rod Smith, Running Back, stay.
Smith, the brother of Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith, has come on as a rotational runner in Dallas’ offense. The 27-year-old has been productive when he occasionally shares the workload with star running back Ezekiel Elliott. Smith rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown on 44 carries and caught nine passes for 60 yards in 2018.
Justin March-Lillard, Linebacker, go.
March-Lillard served as a depth and special teams player for Dallas in 2018. Depth and special teams players are certainly valuable to NFL teams, but it’d be more logical for Dallas to acquire a player for the roles March-Lillard played in the NFL Draft to have a multi-year contract to work with instead of recurring one-year deals.
Geoff Swaim, Tight End, stay.
Swaim has spent the majority of his Cowboys career buried on the depth chart, but the tight end finally got a chance to make an impact following the retirement of future Hall of Famer Jason Witten. Swaim recorded career highs in starts (9), catches (26), yards (262), and touchdowns (1) in 2018. Dallas should not object to re-signing Swaim to a short-term deal this spring.