While the majority of us are preparing for Halloween at the end of October, the Dallas Cowboys and the rest the NFL are focusing on another event that takes place at the end of the month, the trade deadline. There is no way of knowing if the Cowboys will be active or choose to remain pat, but they have until October 31 to decide if they want to be buyers or sellers.
There are certain players on the current roster they could use as trade bait, but they have shown in the past they are reluctant sellers. The Dallas Cowboys instead tend to hold on to their players a little too long. That is why I don't see them getting rid of anybody, but I could see them in the market to add some more talent to the roster.
You sometimes have to read between the lines to try and figure out who might be on the trade block, but other times it's as clear as day. There is also no way of knowing what teams are looking for as compensation, so I'll leave that up to the talking heads to figure out. But if you continue to read below, I'll share with you five players I think the Dallas Cowboys should target before the trade deadline.
Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, New York Giants
It's no secret the Dallas Cowboys have a lot of inexperience in the secondary. In fact, Orlando Scandrick is really the only proven veteran player they have. That is why I wouldn't be surprised if the Cowboys explore the possibility of trading for a veteran cornerback, and I think Dominique Rogers-Cromartie fits the bill.
Rogers-Cromartie is someone the Dallas Cowboys are very familiar with having had to see him twice a year as a member of the New York Giants. He isn't a spring chicken anymore, but at 31 he still has plenty of football ahead of himself. At 6'2", he would add some much-needed length to the position and his veteran experience would also prove beneficial for the Cowboys young CBs.
I think Dominique Rogers-Cromartie could be on the trade market because of all of the heated arguments he has had with his head coach, Ben MacAdoo. Those arguments have already resulted in a team mandated suspension, so seeing him jettisoned from the team wouldn't be a complete shock. It's doubtful the Giants would trade him within the division, but I would never say never.
Vontae Davis, CB, Indianapolis Colts
The entire Indianapolis Colts team is a mess right now and I could see them trying to offload several of their veteran players. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they try to acquire as many draft picks as possible in order to hopefully improve the roster, because they are beyond help, even with a healthy Andrew Luck. Cornerback Vontae Davis could be one of the veterans they are looking to offload.
Davis is in the last year of his contract, which only increases the chance the Colts try to offload him. When healthy he is one of the better CBs in the NFL, but that's the only problem, he's often banged up.
Much like Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, Vontae Davis could be a bridge player to help the Cowboys young CBs grow. It's doubtful the Cowboys would make a trade for just a one year rental, so they would have to try and work out a short-term extension. He could help stabilize the position, while not hindering the development of the Cowboys young players.
Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo Bills
There have been rumors circulating for a while that the Buffalo Bills have been trying to trade their talented defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. It's somewhat of a surprise they haven't been able to find a trade partner, but that could be due to the fact Dareus has an inflated contract or the Bills asking price.
I kinda doubt the Dallas Cowboys have any interest in the Dareus, but that is most likely due to the money he would add to the salary cap. If not for his big money contract, I believe the Cowboys would seriously consider bringing him in.
The Dallas Cowboys have a need at the 1-tech and Dareus would immediately be the best one they have had in recent memory. At 6'3", 331, he would not only help fix the problems the defense has had against the run, but would also help improve the pass rush by eating up blockers in the interior. Marcell Dareus might just be the player on this list who could help the Cowboys the most.
Hau'oli Kikaha, OLB, New Orleans Saints
Hau'oli Kikaha is probably not a name many of you are familiar with, but I believe he is someone that could come in and help improve the pass rush for the Dallas Cowboys. He is a former 2015 second round draft pick by the New Orleans Saints, but he seems to have already fallen out of favor with the organization, which is why he was probably a healthy scratch last week.
Unfortunately, injuries have been a big part of Kikaha's career and have followed him into the NFL. An ACL injury wiped out his entire 2016 season, but he is fully healthy now and has already accumulated two QB sacks. The Cowboys have improved at getting after the quarterback, but the future of the position is full of uncertainties.
DeMarcus Lawrence is in the last year of his contract and might be playing himself out of the Cowboys price range. Tyrone Crawford will likely end up being a salary cap casually after the 2017 season, and no one really knows what Taco Charlton will turn into. Kikaha would likely be a pass rush specialist to begin with because of his size (6'3", 246), but I think he can develop into a starting caliber defensive end.
Adrian Clayborn, DE, Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has been a one-man wrecking crew so far this season, but he can definitely use some help getting after the QB. Lawrence is currently second in the NFL with 9.5 QB sacks, but through six games the rest of the team only has 11.5.
The Cowboys haven't gotten much from Tyrone Crawford, Benson Mayowa, or Taco Charlton at the right defensive end position this season. The only other player along the defensive line showing any consistency right now is David Irving, but who knows how long that will last? That is why I believe Adrian Clayborn should be a trade target for the Cowboys.
Unlike the previously mentioned Hau'oli Kikaha, Adrian Clayborn is a true defensive end, and a proven one at that. Clayborn is a seven year veteran and has accumulated 22.5 QB sacks in his career, including two already this season. I believe he could become available because Atlanta is currently loaded with edge-defenders. Clayborn is stuck in a rotation with Vic Beasley, Brooks Reed, Derrick Shelby, and rookie Takkarist McKinley, which could make him expendable.
Do you think the Cowboys will be buyers before the trade deadline?
Did a Year Away Help Rejuvenate TE Jason Witten’s Game?
Jason Witten is 37 years old, retired from the NFL after the completion of 2017 season to try his luck as an announcer in the booth, but has now decided to come out of retirement to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys? It seems a little unrealistic to think he can come back after a year away from the game and pick up where he left off, but it sounds as if he's like a Phoenix rising from the ashes.
Jason Witten has been the talk of Dallas Cowboys OTA practices so far. These practices are unpadded and basically just an opportunity to do install some of the offensive and defensive plays, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the things that has been somewhat surprising though is how talked up the future Hall of Famer has become.
Here is what Head Coach Jason Garrett had to say recently about Jason Witten's return:
“Yeah, absolutely. He’s been excited about every part of it ever since I met him and that hasn’t changed,” coach Jason Garrett said. “The work that he’s done in the weight room in the off-season program has been outstanding. His testing numbers and all of that are what they’ve been or even better. And he just has an unbelievable way about him. Tremendous passion for the game. And he demonstrates that every day. Witt looks good. He’s excited to be back and we’re certainly fortunate to have him back.”
The main thing that stands out from Garrett's quote to me is how Jason Witten looks just as good, if not better after not playing at all in 2018. To think that his testing numbers are possibly even better is unfathomable. We typically don't see NFL players in their mid-30s retire from the game and then return just as good, or maybe even better than they were before.
Maybe that's just what Jason Witten is, a little inhuman. Maybe he's found the secret to turning the clock back just a little bit. Or, maybe he found the fountain the youth and didn't tell anybody. Regardless, there's no doubt Witten will be a welcomed addition to the Cowboys offense, especially if he's gained a step.
I don't know about all of you, but I'm hoping the year away from the game did him some good. I honestly thought he made the right decision to retire prior to the 2018 season. It just looked like father time was catching up to him in 2017. But, hopefully all he needed was a little time away from the grind he's been putting his body through for over a decade.
Whatever he's done hasn't gone unnoticed though. Even Quarterback Dak Prescott has noticed and said he's on to Witten's scheme.
“I guess the trick is to take a year off because he’s definitely gotten better, stronger and faster,” Prescott said. “He hasn’t lost a step.”
I'm not afraid to admit I wasn't too excited to see Witten come out of retirement and rejoin the Cowboys at first. I was skeptical he could be the player he once was after a year away from the game. But, all of this talk about him looking as good as he once was, perhaps better, has me really looking forward to seeing him on the field once again.
Do you think a year away has rejuvenated Jason Witten's game?
Cowboys en Español: El Verdadero Cambio en La Ofensiva
Los Dallas Cowboys tuvieron un interesante 2018. La ofensiva dejo mucho que desear toda la primera mitad de la temporada cuando carecían de un receptor número uno. No fue hasta media temporada cuando consiguieron a Amari Cooper de los Oakland Raiders, que la ofensiva comenzó a verse realmente amenazante. Siendo sinceros, el cuerpo de receptores de los Cowboys lucía muy débil al inicio y Michael Gallup aún no conseguía mucho tiempo de juego en el emparrillado. Incluso una vez en el equipo, a pesar de las grandes hazañas de Cooper en Dallas, la ofensiva no terminó de dar el siguiente paso.
Sí, con Amari en el equipo vimos un equipo de Cowboys que movía constantemente las cadenas e incluso se convirtió en una de las mejores unidades en tercera oportunidad en la liga, pero no fue suficiente. Los problemas en zona roja persistieron y continuamos viendo una selección de jugadas muy cuestionable semana tras semana.
Es por eso que al finalizar la temporada, la administración de los Cowboys finalmente tomó una decisión muy anticipada. El entonces coordinador ofensivo, Scott Linehan, fue despedido.
En cuanto a talento, los Dallas Cowboys no verán un cambio mayor en su ofensiva. Cole Beasley, uno de los mejores WR slot en la NFL, firmó con los Buffalo Bills durante la agencia libre. A pesar de la llegada de Randall Cobb, la ofensiva probablemente extrañará bastante a Beasley. Además está el regreso de Jason Witten al campo, quien se repartirá el balón mucho con los jóvenes del equipo, principalmente con Blake Jarwin. Por último, Travis Frederick podría estar de regreso como el centro titular. Fuera de eso, no se anticipan cambios de jugadores en la ofensiva.
Y a pesar de esto, la afición de los Cowboys espera ver un cambio grande entre la ofensiva del 2018 y la de 2019. Si las cosas salen bien, así será. Pero más que por el talento del equipo, que ya está ahí y es un muy buen talento, deberá ser por el hombre al mando.
Kellen Moore ha tomado las riendas como el nuevo coordinador ofensivo y finalmente podremos ver su potencial. Muchos han criticado a Moore, en gran parte por nunca haber sido un quarterback exitoso en la NFL. Sin embargo, hay muchas razones por las cuales deberíamos estar emocionados.
Desde que Moore salió de la universidad de Boise State, se le veía como un prospecto muy inteligente. Incluso analistas como Jon Gruden (en ese entonces conductor del programa de ESPN Gruden's QB Camp) mencionaban que Moore probablemente no sería un gran mariscal, pero que tenía la mente de un coach.
En Boise, Moore trabajaba con la ofensiva del actual coach de los Washington Huskies, Chris Petersen. Esta ofensiva es una muy complicada que le exige al mariscal saber casi tanto como un jugador profesional. Muchos han descrito a Moore como un genio ofensivo que será un gran coach en el futuro.
Para los Cowboys, Kellen Moore será una pieza clave en 2019. Si vemos una ofensiva realmente diferente, será gracias a su creatividad y filosofía que implementa a un grupo bastante talentoso en Dallas. Los jugadores están ahí, ¿sabrá el coordinador ofensivo de 30 años aprovecharlos?
NFL to Study Marijuana Use, Will It Impact Randy Gregory’s Status?
The NFLPA and the NFL have reached an agreement to research alternative pain-management tools for the players. They'll form joint medical committees to study different strategies, among which will be the use of marijuana. It's important to make it clear that said committees will not be exclusively about marijuana, but a lot of different issues related to pain-management in the league. However, it'll likely be one of the most important aspects of their work.
Marijuana continues to be a highly debated topic and it's no different when discussing the NFL. Dallas Cowboys fans should be very familiar with the situation. Earlier this year, David Irving "quit" on football during an Instagram live stream while smoking weed. In the video, Irving talks about how he thinks it's better to be addicted to marijuana rather than certain medications used by NFL teams to treat their players.
Although David Irving is not an authority on substances, that is where all of this debate centers around. Throughout the league, players are given strong medication to deal with injuries and the physical pain of playing pro football. I'm not an expert either, but it's more than fair to say there's a strong argument here. Specially in a country where marijuana has already been legalized in 10 states and the trend points toward legalization continuing.
The current CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) between the NFL and NFLPA will expire after the 2020 season and how the league's drug policy looks like in the new agreement will be a huge factor for reaching a satisfactory CBA for both sides.
Of course, the fact that the NFLPA and the league are working together on such an important task doesn't mean we will see any immediate changes or that the NFL's ban on marijuana will be lifted anytime soon. Many big question marks will have to be answered before we hear about teams implementing this substance as a pain management tool.
For the Dallas Cowboys, this will be a relevant narrative down the line. Pass rusher Randy Gregory was reinstated after serving an indefinite suspension due to substance abuse prior to the 2018 season. After a dominant year, Gregory was suspended again by the NFL and it all points toward him sitting out this upcoming season and perhaps even more.
Even still, the Cowboys are still standing behind their 2015 second round pick. If the league ends up lifting its ban on marijuana, they'll have to decide what they will do with players already serving a suspension for this reason. Guys like Randy Gregory, for instance. If it's decided they'll be reinstated to the NFL, the Cowboys will sure be glad to have supported Gregory all throughout the process.
Last year, the pass rusher proved how effective he could be even with a short period of time training. Hopefully, the Cowboys are able to get him back on the field eventually, where's been consistently dominant. In the meantime, we'll see how recently acquired Robert Quinn does in Dallas.
The NFL won't be lifting its ban anytime soon, but it's good to know they're at least open minded to changing the league's policy and consider alternatives that could benefit the players' health. We'll see how these new medical committees work and keep you updated here at Inside The Star.
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