The Dallas Cowboys will enter the 2013 offseason with an aggressive mindset towards free agency. And with a little flexibility and an open mind, Dallas could make a splash in free agency.
The NFL salary cap is only expected to increase by $1 million next season, leaving each franchise $121 million to work with. However, the Cowboys will take a $5 million hit thanks to a penalty imposed by the NFL last offseason, leaving Dallas with $116 million to build their 53-man roster around.
As of now, the Cowboys have $3.7 million available in cap space, but that number is likely to increase when 16 contracts come off the books this offseason. If Dallas decided to part ways with free agents to be Anthony Spencer, Felix Jones and Mike Jenkins it would free up $11 million in space. The Cowboys will also gain an additional $10 million after shedding multiple dead weight contracts—these come from player buyouts and are essentially dead money for the year.
If Dallas decided to let their entire free agent class walk, it would have around $24 million to use in free agency and to sign their 2013 draft class.
More than likely, some of these free agents will re-sign, but the Cowboys have some huge holes that must be filled with any remaining space.
The offensive line is the most urgent area of need, but other spots like third-string receiver and backup running back could use a boost. Here are a few players that should be targeted this offseason, along with the key players the Cowboys must re-up.