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Former NFL exec: RB Saquon Barkley ‘would be perfect’ with Cowboys

Former NFL exec: RB Saquon Barkley ‘would be perfect’ with Cowboys

Big Blue seems poised to create a big hole in their backfield. The Giants are said to be “highly, highly unlikely” to place a franchise tag on running back Saquon Barkley for the second year in a row after what New York fans see as a lackluster season.

And that has fans of other teams eyeing the two-time Pro Bowler and wondering what’s left in the tank. One former league exec, though, thinks the Cowboys should be doing more than wondering about the Penn State alum who figures to be one of the top free agents of the offseason.

Mike Tannenbaum says a Barkley fit in Dallas is “easy” to see, given the Cowboys’ own similar situation at the position.

“When you’re looking at free agency, the first thing you do is say, ‘If we’re going to go outside our building, who can we get in the division to help us and hurt our opponent?'” he said on ESPN’s Get Up. “And trust me, the last thing the New York Giants want to see, if Saquon Barkley graduates this year, is him with a star on the side of his helmet.”

The Cowboys, of course, have a decision to make with their own franchise-tagged back. Tony Pollard carried the same designation for Dallas in 2023, and, like Barkley, didn’t do much to lock down his shot at a long-term monster-money deal.

In fact, while making the same $10.091 million last season, Pollard and Barkley turned in eerily similar numbers.

Gms

Atts

Yds

Yds/Att

TD

Recs

RecYds

Yds/Rec

TD

Tony Pollard

17

252

1,005

4.0

6

55

311

5.7

0

Saquon Barkley

14

247

962

3.9

6

41

280

6.8

4

The primary difference is that Barkley did it in 14 games, missing three outings due to a high ankle sprain. Pollard was in his first year as the Cowboys’ lead ballcarrier.

Serviceable stats for sure, but likely not worth the approximately $12 million that a second franchise tag would cost either club in 2024.

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Barkley just turned 27 years old a few weeks ago and rattled off a 1,300-yard campaign as recently as 2022. He may not be the same player that was drafted second overall in 2018 and won Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he would no doubt be an attractive veteran option for a RB-needy squad like Dallas.

“He would be perfect,” Tannenbaum explained. “He can catch, he can run, I think his pass protection has actually gotten better. And based on the way Tony Pollard played, I actually think he would improve that position for the 2024 Cowboys.”

Whether the Cowboys also think so- and what they might be willing to pay Barkley to find out- remains to be seen. The deadline for teams to franchise tag players is March 5. Clubs may start negotiating with free agents on March 11 and can sign players beginning March 13.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire