The Dallas Cowboys entered free agency with some tough decisions to make offensively. Defensively, the priority appeared simple: do what they could to keep the group together. The 2021 Cowboys defense was the best unit the franchise has put forth in a long time. It would occasionally hemorrhage yards but recorded more takeaways than any other defense in the NFL. It gave the Cowboys the best turnover differential in football and played a large role in capturing the team’s first divisional title since 2018.
The biggest piece hitting free agency comes in the form of defensive end Randy Gregory. Gregory is a good story for the Cowboys, who brought him aboard despite suspensions for substance abuse plaguing the early part of his career. Gregory steadied out and became an extremely productive player in 2021, as he notched six sacks, 17 quarterback hits, and three forced fumbles in only 12 games. He’s widely viewed as one of the top edge players available on the market and the Cowboys were going to have to make a competitive offer to retain his services.
On Tuesday, it appeared they did just that. Reports emerged Dallas had reached an agreement with Gregory on a five-year deal worth $70 million. Pricy, to be sure, but about what Gregory was projected to earn.
But then, disaster struck. Two hours later, news broke that Gregory was actually signing with … the Denver Broncos. Not the Cowboys. A complete reversal. A coup for Denver and a gut punch for Dallas. The drama!