NFL free agency matchmaker for each NFC team: Cowboys upgrade secondary; Rams take chance on former All-Pro WR

Free agency in less than a week. In just a few days, NFL teams will be able to negotiate with players from other teams and try to recruit them. With that in mind, we’re playing matchmaker here at CBS Sports by trying to assign available players to teams they’re a good match for. Wednesday Jeff Kerr covered AFC. In the space below, I will deal with NFC.

Needless to say, teams in need of quarterbacks like the Commanders, Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers and maybe even the Lions, Vikings and 49ers should go after Lamar Jackson. Rather than write his name six or seven times, we’ll just make the assumption that he should be on their respective lists and go with another player.

Without further ado…

Dallas Cowboys

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Marcus Peters

BAL • CB • #24

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Everyone had already made a connection with Odell Beckham Jr, so I wanted to go in a different direction. Dallas is desperate for an influx of players at the corner, where the team proved dangerously weak last season with injuries to Jordan Lewis and Anthony Brown. Peters could be this year’s version of James Bradberry, who the Eagles picked up on the cheap and got a great season out of him. Dan Quinn should be able to get the most out of a very talented player who could replace Trevon Diggs.

New York Giants

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Mekole Hardman

CS • WR • #17

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The Giants need to upgrade their weaponry around Daniel Jones, who recently signed a $40 million a year deal. Offensive coordinator Mike Kafka was a former quarterbacks coach at Kansas City, so he likely knows Hardman’s skill set well. He won’t be blocked by more talented players in New York like he was in KC, so maybe he can take the next step forward in his career. Its dynamic speed would have allowed Kafka to use it in a variety of ways, and it would have been well suited to the low-average attack they did with Jones last year.

Philadelphia Eagles

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Eric Kendricks


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Philadelphia loves signing die-hard veterans in their 30s to fill roles but don’t go bust on defense, and Kendricks fits the bill. He didn’t come far from playing at the All-Pro level, but his paycheck and Brian Flores’ likely awkward play on Minnesota defense saw the Vikings cut ties. The Eagles have both Keesir White and T.J. Edwards on free agency, and they have a new defensive coordinator in Sean Desai after Jonathan Gannon got the head coaching job in Arizona. Desai spent four years with the Vikings early in his career, three of which coincided with Kendricks. (He was a defensive coach at the time.) He’s likely to be able to get the most out of the versatile midfielder.

Washington commanders

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Connor McGovern

VALLEY • AND • #66

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Washington needs a right-back as Trey Turner is determined to enter the market and he can do more than raid his division rival in search of a player who has improved in recent seasons. The Cowboys had long believed that McGovern was a better right-back than a left-back, but with Zach Martin locked in that role, they had McGovern on the other side of the line. Washington could take his more natural position, and probably do so without paying too high a price for his services.

Atlanta Falcons

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Juju Smith-Shuster


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There is nothing the Falcons love more than big pasketchers. They took Kyle Pitts (6-6, 246 lbs) to 4th overall in 2021 and Drake London (6-5, 210) to 8th overall in 2022. When Arthur Smith was with the Tennessee Titans, they also prioritized big bodies, from Derrick Henry to A.J. Brown and more. JuJu is a big slots player (6-1, 215) and his ability to work in short sections of the field as well as serve as a plus blocker on the run is part of what…


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