Saquon Barkley was one of the main headliners of last offseason, as his ongoing and ultimately unsuccessful long-term contract negotiations with the New York Giants served as a driving force for a running back financial compensation debate. There might not be much of a struggle between the two sides this year, however.

The Giants are not expected to use the franchise tag on Barkley for the second time in a row, according to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. He declined this past season, tallying 962 rushing yards on just 3.9 yards per carry in 14 games. The two-time Pro Bowler should still attract interest on the open market, though.

Former New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum has a highly interesting destination in mind for Barkley should he officially become available.

“This one's easy, it's the Dallas Cowboys,” he said on ESPN's Get Up. “Tony Pollard was mildly disappointing replacing Zeke Elliott. His production went down by about 25 percent … 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 help us and hurt our opponent.'”

Cowboys could look to make a splash with Saquon Barkley

Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones attends the Big 12 football game between Texas Tech and Texas,
Annie Rice/Avalanche-Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

If the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft landed in Jerry World, fans would need to brace themselves for a showdown actually worthy of the label “revenge game.” To Tannenbaum's point, Pollard regressed after coming back from a fractured fibula and ankle sprain and being awarded the lead running back role. The impending free agent posted comparable numbers to Barkley (4.0 yards per carry) but did so behind a much better offensive line.

New York ranked near the bottom in protection, a badge of dishonor it has perplexingly worn for several years now. A move to Dallas could reinvigorate the 27-year-old. Jerry Jones knows he won't have to break the bank on the position, so he should be plenty motivated to work out a potential deal. But would their hated rivals allow that to happen?

“And trust me, the last thing the New York Giants want to see is Saquon Barkley with a star on the side of his helmet,” Mike Tannenbaum said. “Could you imagine the first time Dallas rolls into town with Saquon as a Cowboy? He would be perfect because he can catch, he can run, I think his pass protection has actually gotten better… I [think] he would improve that position.”

No. 26 is headed for another intriguing offseason that could end with one of the most wild endings imaginable. Stay tuned.