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Cowboys Tabbed a Favorite to Sign Projected $42 Million All-Pro RB

One of the big NFL questions posited at the betting site Draft Kings asks about the Raiders’ Josh Jacobs: “For Which Team Will Josh Jacobs Take His First Snap in the 2024/25 NFL Regular Season?” And there among the first four answers are the Dallas Cowboys, who could very well find themselves looking for a new running back this offseason if the Cowboys decide to part ways with incumbent free agent Tony Pollard.

The Cowboys are the third favorite, according to Draft Kings, should Jacobs leave the Raiders, the team for which he has played since he was their first-round pick in 2019. Dallas is getting plus-850 odds on signing Jacobs, while the Chargers are plus-550. The only other team ahead of the Cowboys are the Texans, at plus-650.

There’s still a chance, of course, that the Cowboys will simply bring back Pollard next year, either on a franchise-tag contract, or on a longer-term deal for smaller money. But if they don’t, Jacobs is the top running back on the market and his versatility—as a short-yardage runner who can also break off long runs and act as a receiver out of the backfield—would make him a welcome addition.

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Josh Jacobs Coming off a Down Year

But, like Pollard with the Cowboys, Jacobs is coming off a down year in 2023. He led the NFL in rushing yardage at 1,658 in 2022 (and was an All-Pro that season), but that number fell to 805 yards in 2023, which ranked 25th in the league. That will certainly do some damage to the value Jacobs has as a free agent this offseason.

He held out during last year’s training camp only to get a modest bump up from the franchise tag the Raiders had put on him heading into camp. Jacobs got a one-year deal worth $11.4 million last year, despite his intention on holding out for a long-term contract.

This year, it will not help Jacobs that he missed the last four games of the season with a stubborn quad injury. In his place, second-year Raiders running back Zamir White outplayed him, totaling 397 yards in those four games, and averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

That’s led to increased skepticism that the Raiders should bring back Jacobs, and if he hits the market, the Cowboys can be expected to factor into his free agency. Cowboys Could Be Priced Out of Star RB Market

It will be interesting to see what kind of market develops for Jacobs—and for Pollard, for that matter—in an era in which even the top running backs are having to take severely discounted contracts. Spotrac puts Jacobs’ projected market value at $10.6 million per year, and he’s expected to sign a contract worth $42.4 million over four seasons.

That’s a significant number, and probably more than the Cowboys are willing to commit to Jacobs.

Pro Football Focus expects Jacobs to get a better one-year deal worth $11.5 million over three seasons. Projection: 3 years, $34.5 million for Jacobs. A shorter term for such a deal would be attractive to the Cowboys, but it would still likely be more money than the team wants to spend on its backline.

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