It’s no secret the Dallas Cowboys desperately need to upgrade their defensive line this offseason. How they go about doing that though has yet to be seen. Free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft provide the obvious solution, yet a trade could net the same type of results. That’s what will take a look at today.
Today, I want to share with you three potential defensive tackle candidates the Dallas Cowboys could potentially trade for in order to upgrade the interior of their defensive line. Each one makes since in my opinion and could likely be obtained with nothing more than a late-round pick this year, which aligns with the Cowboys offseason strategy these past few years.
Let’s take a look…
Michael Brockers, Los Angeles Rams
There are multiple reports the Los Angeles Rams have put Michael Brockers on the trade block. If Dallas Cowboys haven’t already they should absolutely get on the phone with the Rams to see what it would take to get Brockers in a Cowboys uniform. He would not only be a perfect fit as a 1-tech in Dan Quinn’s 4-3 defensive scheme, but likely wouldn’t cost more than a 2021 Day 3 pick.
As good as it sounds though the 30-year-old DT still has two rather expensive years remaining on his current contract. He will carry a cap number of $9.8 million in 2021 and $10.8 million in 2022. That’s a lot more than the Cowboys typically spend on the DT position, but for a player who’s accumulated 28 QB sacks since 2012 they may want to change that way of thinking.
Malcolm Brown, New Orleans Saints
Like Michael Brockers, rumors are the New Orleans Saints are fielding trade offers for Malcolm Brown. He falls more in line with what the Dallas Cowboys generally look for in potential trade targets. The 27-year-old has just one year at a little over $6 million remaining on his current contract, which is about the going rate for a DT of his caliber.
Malcolm Brown is an excellent run defender and has a little juice as a pass rusher as well, accumulating 11.5 QB sacks since 2015. He would no doubt be an upgrade over Antwaun Woods at the 1-tech and could potentially land the Cowboys a 2022 compensatory pick if he ends up being just a one-year rental. This trade almost makes too much sense not to happen.
Danny Shelton, Detroit Lions
If reports are true the Detroit Lions are expected to release Danny Shelton. Instead of waiting for him to hit the open market the Dallas Cowboys could pounce on the opportunity to acquire him via trade in order to upgrade and add some much-needed depth to the interior of the defensive line. The 27-year-old, 6’2″, 335 pound DT could be the big bodied, space eating 1-tech Dallas hasn’t had in quite some time.
Danny Shelton is more of a traditional run stuffer and doesn’t offer much in the pass rush department (only 5.5 career QB sacks since 2015). That’s not necessarily a bad thing considering how terrible the Cowboys defense was last season against the run. He has one year remaining on his contract ($5.2 million) and could be essentially a one-year rental, but the former first-round pick would no doubt be an immediate upgrade.