Running back Tony Pollard and tight end Dalton Schultz are the Cowboys’ biggest-name players headed toward free agency. But the Cowboys have other soon-to-be free agents they would love to sign before next week.
Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the team is making “no progress” in negotiations with linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and does not have optimism about a deal for safety Donovan Wilson.
Wilson and Vander Esch were the Cowboys’ leading tacklers last season, combining for 191.
Vander Esch, the 19th overall choice in 2018, signed a one-year, $2 million deal to remain with the Cowboys in 2022. His 90 tackles were the second-most of his career behind the 140 he had in earning Pro Bowl honors as a rookie before a series of neck problems.
“I thought Leighton had a great year,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said earlier this week, via Jon Machota of TheAthletic. com. “It’ll all just boil down to the economics in terms of where he ends up. He had a hell of a year.”
Wilson, a sixth-round pick in 2019, has played out his rookie deal. He had a career year, with 1010 tackles, seven tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits and five sacks.
Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn made the most of the safety trio of Wilson, Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker.
“It’s great to have all three of them,” Jones said. “Obviously, a priority to keep them together. It will be one of our priorities.”
The Cowboys have 19 players scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.