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Cowboys Connected To $30 Million Free Agent

Jerick McKinnon played a crucial role for the Kansas City Chiefs, but the free agent could join a different NFL superpower in 2024.
Jerick McKinnon Free Agent

The Dallas Cowboys have shown no interest in improving their roster with big-money additions, but one outlet believes they could go after a cost-effective free agent like Jerick McKinnon. Once deemed worthy of a $30 million contract, the former third-round pick spent the past three seasons as Kansas City’s primary receiving back. Beating out a former first-round pick in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the longtime NFL veteran has recorded 94 receptions for 811 yards and 14 touchdowns during his three seasons with the Chiefs, while winning two Super Bowls.

At this stage in his career, Jerick McKinnon won’t singlehandedly win too many games as a free agent. However, he still possesses a reliable set of hands and can handle some work between the tackles. This allows him to compete in a lesser backfield, and Bleacher Report believes the Dallas Cowboys are the best fit.

Receiving back Jerick McKinnon would be a fine budget add, as he’s shown in recent years that he can be impactful with a limited role. Despite being a role player, he caught 94 regular-season passes over the last three years.

Dallas Cowboys Connected to Free Agent Jerick McKinnon

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the worst backfields in football. Despite being a documented believer in the importance of the running back position, Jerry Jones has done nothing to offset the loss of Tony Pollard. Ezekiel Elliott may be back in town, but the former fourth-overall pick is well past his prime. Jerick McKinnon is no spring chicken himself, but the free agent should be able to carve out a role with Elliott, Rico Dowdle, and Deuce Vaughn.

Jerick McKinnon might not be the shiniest toy, but the Cowboys shouldn’t be the only team interested in the free agent. Given his age, McKinnon probably wants to avoid OTA’s and minicamp, but he should sign before the start of the regular season. While he might not make an active roster, the running back could earn a preseason spot with one of these teams.

Other Possible Fits

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are the one team in the league whose running back situation rivals the Cowboys – and that’s not a good thing. Zamir White played well in small doses last year, but can he handle a larger workload with Josh Jacobs in Green Bay? Only time will tell, but Alexander Mattison and sixth-round pick Dylan Laube aren’t built to handle full workloads. The best thing to do here is split work, and Jerick McKinnon can provide some pass-catching relief as a free agent. Laube looked good with the ball in his hands, but New Hampshire didn’t face the highest level of competition.

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers are set in the long term with Texas running back Jonathon Brooks. However, the rookie is returning from a torn ACL and might need some time to get back up to speed. Miles Sanders had a disastrous first year in Carolina, so the team could sign Jerick McKinnon to keep Sanders on the bench. McKinnon and veteran Chuba Hubbard aren’t the most dangerous backfield in the league, but they can hold down the fort until Brooks returns to full strength.

Los Angeles Chargers

Gus Edwards is a reliable short-yardage back, but he doesn’t bring much to the table in the passing game. In theory, J.K. Dobbins could serve as the third-down back, but the former second-round pick is coming off a torn Achilles. Jerick McKinnon is a safer free agent bet who can provide a receiving outlet for arguably the worst collection of pass-catching talent in the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs

Why not? Isiah Pacheco is the unquestioned early-down starter, but the Chiefs should bring back Jerick McKinnon as a free agent. While age will eventually catch up to the veteran, he was better than Clyde Edwards-Helaire last year. Perhaps McKinnon will slow down in 2024, but Kansas City could use a player like McKinnon who can easily make plays in Andy Reid’s offense.

New York Giants

The New York Giants cannot replace Saquon Barkley, so they’ll have to try and recreate him in the aggregate. Devin Singletary is a reliable runner, but he doesn’t bring much to the passing game. Jerick McKinnon, meanwhile, has soft hands but shouldn’t handle too many carries. With these two combined, New York will have at least one running back capable of being on the field on any given down.

Main Photo: Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Sports


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