5 Dallas Cowboys who won’t be back in 2024 after playoff embarrassment

Jan 14, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) rushes the ball
Jan 14, 2024; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard (20) rushes the ball / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Cowboys and playoff futility have become an infuriatingly familiar pairing that fans have been forced to suffer through over the past three decades. And despite going 12-5 to win the NFC East in the 2023 regular season to enter the posteason as the No. 2 seed in the conference, the embarrassing disappointments in the playoffs continued.

This time, it was against a familiar postseason foe in the Green Bay Packers in front of the home crowd at AT&T Stadium. Both sides of the ball for the Cowboys looked completely hapless out of the gate, allowing Green Bay to jump out to a 27-0 lead and then coasting to a decisive upset victory. It's a win that should bring about big changes for Dallas, not the least of which is moving on from head coach Mike McCarthy.

But it's also an offseason wherein, regardless of what happens to the coaching staff, the front office will have a number of big issues to handle. Big-name players need extensions or restructures, but there are also a number of notable players who are scheduled to become free agents as well. In terms of the free agents, however, the Cowboys should go ahead and say goodbye to these players because, for one reason or another, they won't be suiting up for America's teeam in the 2024 season.

5. Jourdan Lewis, CB

Cornerback is perhaps the position that will test the Cowboys front office the most in free agency this offseason. Stephon Gilmore, who the club traded for in the 2023 offseason, Jourdan Lewis and Noah Igbinoghene are all set to hit the open market this offseason. Of course, Dallas is set up pretty nicely with DaRon Bland and Trevon Diggs at corner, assuming Diggs can return from a torn ACL suffered this season to start next year.

Depth at cornerback is one of the most crucial areas of any roster, though, which is why things could be trick for the front office. They will have to make some tough decisions as to who to keep and who they should let walk. Looking at what these players did in the 2023 campaign, though, it seems pretty clear that Jourdan Lewis is an obvious candidate to allow to walk.

Lewis was largely playing rotationally in the slot prior to the Diggs injury but became a starter at that position once the Cowboys star went down with DaRon Bland moving almost entirely to playing on the outside. In that elevated role, though, Lewis struggled mightily, which is why he graded out as just the 107th-best cornerback in the NFL among only 128 qualified players according to PFF ($). Even worse, that grade was made better because of a solid performance in run defense as he was one of the worst corners in coverage in the league.

Gilmore is likely to be a priority to try and bring back to the DFW for the 2024 season, especially with the uncertainty of Diggs' health going into next year. That likely makes Lewis someone that the team can afford to move on from and not think twice about, especially with potential replacements already waiting in the wings after having been given time to develop in recent years.