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5 Players Cowboys Should Target Before The Trade Deadline

Brian Martin

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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.

CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie

CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie

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.

CB Vontae Davis

CB Vontae Davis

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.

DT Marcell Dareus

DT Marcell Dareus

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.

OLB Hau'oli Kikaha

OLB Hau'oli Kikaha

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.

DE Adrian Clayborn

DE Adrian Clayborn

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?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Rory Jones

    October 26, 2017 at 7:24 am

    John Brown from Arizona? I get it that this team need Defense but they also need someone who can take that 8th man out of the box. They need a burner to stretch the field.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 26, 2017 at 9:08 am

      That wouldn’t be a bad idea, but I don’t think the Cowboys will trade for an offensive player unless it’s another LG. Brice Butler is their deep threat for now until they draft one.

  2. tom

    October 26, 2017 at 9:11 am

    instead of looking for help that could help this year, look at either injured or backup players that could help next year. Cowboys have traded for players that could benefit them the following year. Mostly this is out of cost. I would say that OLB would be ripe position to look at with Lee’s injuries and Hitchens a possible FA loss. 1-Tech could be another area. We are good at DBs.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 26, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Tom, I completely agree. That is why I chose the players I did for this list. All of them would help this year, but the majority of them would also help for years to come. I personally don’t like one-year rentals, especially when you have to give up draft capital to acquire them.

  3. Hobbes49

    October 26, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Good list. I am in on Davis, Darius, and Clayborn. Any one of those would be fine. Rush off the edge would be a big positive, and Darius would help stop the problems we have had with interior run plays from the opposition. Davis would be great because we are one injury away from way too young everywhere in the secondary. Not in love with the idea of Rodgers-Cromartie, and don’t know enough about Kikaha to have a fair opinion.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 26, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      I personally wouldn’t mind having anyone of these players in Dallas, but unfortunately I don’t think they will make any trades.

      • Hobbes49

        October 26, 2017 at 10:15 pm

        I agree with you there. Not their style floor sure.

      • Rory Jones

        October 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm

        Than why did you write this article? You got my hopes up that they would actually be smart and upgrade some positions. I guess February 4th I can watch some Netflix seeing as my schedule will be free now.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          October 30, 2017 at 1:17 pm

          Wishful thinking on my part I guess. The Cowboys are supposedly looking for another big bodied 1-tech, but there’s no way of knowing if they will make any trades.

  4. DevilDog58

    October 26, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    I’d definitely like to see Dallas sign some significant help for the Defense but not just any player. Darius would be a great addition and I would like to see us hang onto DLAW if feasible. Building through the draft is paying off so I’d like to see us continue that and try to retain our own good players.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 26, 2017 at 6:41 pm

      I agree that Marcell Dareus would be a great addition. I think he would change the entire dynamic of the DL improve the running and passing defense. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Cowboys will trade for anybody

      • DevilDog58

        October 27, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        Unfortunately, I agree with you Brian.

  5. Travis Diggs

    October 26, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    NFL.Com posted this list yesterday. It’s unlikely we trade for anybody We gotta better chance of Resigning Kellen Moore bum ass

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 26, 2017 at 6:39 pm

      NFL.com posted the same people I did that the Cowboys should target?. I thought I was being clever by looking over rosters and seeing which players might be available that would fit in Dallas. I don’t read anything on NFL.com so I didn’t see that article.

  6. Daryl DeBose

    October 27, 2017 at 2:45 am

    Eric Reid and Marcel Dareus could complete this team.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      October 27, 2017 at 9:21 am

      I wouldn’t say they would complete the team, but they would definitely make them better.

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Star Blog

2018 In Review: Byron Jones Emerges As CB1

Kevin Brady

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Byron Jones

Heading into the 2018 season Byron Jones was being asked to prove himself. The former first round pick had fallen out of the coaches' good graces during his third season, though many of his struggles could be attributed to those very coaches which were then questioning his ability.

Being asked to play out of position, or at least in a spot which did not maximize his natural ability, Jones struggled in 2017. Too often he was playing in the box as a safety where his lack of physicality was exposed by the opponent's run game. This was mostly due to the coaching staff falling in love with his tight-end-erasing ability in man coverage, but backfired when overused as a safety.

Once hired the following offseason, Kris Richard and company decided to move Byron Jones to cornerback full time, allowing him to utilize his excellent coverage skills and athletic ability to the fullest, rather than putting him at a disadvantage in the box.

The results? Well, Jones had one of the best seasons of any cornerback in football, earning All Pro and Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his young career.

Pro Football Focus on Twitter

Byron Jones had a dominant season for Dallas

Pro Football Focus graded Jones as the sixth best cornerback in all of football last season, allowing just 0.79 yards per coverage snap. Despite not having an interception on the season, Jones still earned national recognition as one of the best cornerbacks in the entire league.

Down the stretch of the season, Chidobe Awuzie started to play up to the level which fans had hoped for during the preseason. He had been sticky in coverage most of the year, but now he was making plays on the ball at a much better rate, forcing incompletions. This led to an increase in targets to Jones' side, and though the increase resulted in more catches given up by the number one cornerback, I don't think Jones' play faltered as much as some will have you believe.

The fact is, when you get targeted more you are bound to give up more catches and yards. The key is to force them into contested catches, and make things as difficult for the receiver as possible when targeted.

Byron Jones continued to do this all season long, and fans should be excited for the next step of his growth in 2019.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Time to Stop Making Excuses for QB Dak Prescott?

Por muchos años, el tema del tope salarial ha sido un tema sensible para los Dallas Cowboys. Entre dinero muerto y otros problemas, el equipo ha tenido una situación delicada en este aspecto. Sin embargo, para la temporada del 2019 tienen más espacio de lo que estamos acostumbrados.

Según Over The Cap, los Cowboys tendrán aproximadamente 48 millones de dólares disponibles en 2019. Es importante recalcar que este número no es definitivo y puede cambiar. Año tras año, esta administración ha sido aficionada de reestructurar los contratos de ciertos veteranos para liberar espacio salarial constantemente. Además de esto, hay varios jugadores bajo contrato que el equipo podría decidir cortar para liberar aún más dinero.

Al ver sólo 48 millones disponibles, es complicado imaginar un escenario en que el equipo logre satisfacer todos sus objetivos. Hay bastantes candidatos a grandes extensiones en el equipo, principalmente dos jugadores. En una liga en la que quarterback es la posición más importante, la segunda más importante podría ser la del caza cabezas, cuyo objetivo es ir tras el quarterback contrario.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks

Pues en Dallas, hoy dos  jugadores en estas posiciones que hay que extender. El más urgente sin duda es el defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. Lawrence se puso el jersey del equipo cuando este lo designó a jugar bajo la etiqueta franquicia. Afortunadamente, el atleta de 26 años la hizo de soldado y jugó sin amenazar con faltar a entrenamientos ni pretemporada.

Lo que sí comentó es que no pasaría por lo mismo en 2019. Ahora, el momento está aquí y es tiempo de que los Cowboys lo extiendan. El valor de Lawrence es difícil de predecir, pero es bastante seguro que se acercará a los números de Khalil Mack. Mack hizo historia ganando un contrato que en promedio gana 23.5 millones al año. Si bien no anticiparía que lo supere, la cifra estará cerca al contrato del defensivo de los Chicago Bears.

Además está Dak Prescott, cuyo contrato probablemente estará por encima de los 25 millones anuales. Son contratos caros, pero son piezas fundamentales para el equipo. Definitivamente se les tiene que pagar a ambos. Son pilares que año tras año buscan equipos en toda la NFL.

Además de esto, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, Cole Beasley y más podrían tener un impacto en el tope salarial. Algunos buscan un contrato nuevo, otros una extensión. Pero honestamente, me parece que habrá más espacio en el tope salarial de lo que pensamos. Sólo es cuestión de tiempo para que los Cowboys comiencen a reestructurar a sus veteranos para ahorrarse unos cuantos millones para utilizar en agencia libre.

Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford entre otros pueden ser buenas opciones para comenzar este proceso. Antes era Jason Witten uno de los candidatos favoritos para este proceso, pero él ya se encuentra comentando partidos para ESPN. En Inside The Star, continuaremos actualizándote con contenido al día de los Dallas Cowboys.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: Comentando el Tope Salarial" in the comments below, or tweet me @MauNFL and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!



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Star Blog

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

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Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 2

Super Bowl LIII is in the books, and the Dallas Cowboys can look back on a better-than-expected 2018 campaign. Having won the NFC East with a 10-6 record and bowing out to eventual finalists Los Angeles Rams, the Cowboys' young team can look ahead to 2019 as a chance to take another step forward.

The offseason is now upon us, with the NFL free agency period opening in the middle of March and the NFL Draft coming around at the end of April. Until those times, experts, pundits, and fans are left to assess their teams and predict their activities in the running to the start of next season.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a precarious position, with the team exceeding expectations, still being very young and having plenty of cap space, but also having many top-end players set to become free agents and being without a first-round pick in this year’s draft. There does, however, appear to be a way for the team to make improvements and solidify their place atop the NFC East and potentially go on to win in the Conference Finals.

Lock Down the Big Guns

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason?

@Randy81MossRetires, via Twitter

Many see DeMarcus Lawrence as the top potential free agent this spring, so the Dallas Cowboys need to do everything in their power to lock down the 26-year-old defensive end.

Vice President Stephen Jones has emphasized the team’s target of retaining their own stars, per Star-Telegram, with Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and perhaps Byron Jones being in the discussion for long-term deals.

As it stands, the team will have roughly $48.5 million in cap space for next season, which leaves plenty of space to re-sign their top players. They look set to let go of Tavon Austin, David Irving, and quite possibly Cole Beasley, among others, leaving a need to add reinforcements.

Adding New Talent

Can the Cowboys Become Legitimate NFC Conference Contenders this Offseason? 1

@brkicks, via Twitter

One of the most heavily rumored moves for Dallas in this free agency is picking up native Texan and former Legion of Boom linchpin Earl Thomas, per Forbes.

Against the Rams in the playoffs and throughout the season, the Cowboys lacked a defenseman who could make plays on the pass. Thomas is one of the notorious ball hawks in the league, boasting 28 career interceptions, three of which came in just four games of last season.

If the Cowboys can re-sign their stars while keeping some space for an Earl Thomas-sized contract, which clocked in at $10.4 million in 2018 for the Seattle Seahawks, their odds of going all the way next season will significantly increase.

Right now, the expected names of the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs lead the odds to win the next Super Bowl at +750. Behind them, the Rams sit at +900 having suffered a suffocating defeat in this year’s Super Bowl. Much further down are the Cowboys at +2500 right now with redbet. If they re-sign Lawrence, pay their young stars, and bring in Thomas, they’ll shoot up the table of favorites.

Then, there’s also the additions in the draft to consider.

The Cowboys may be without a first-round selection, but that may end up working in their favor. Round one of the 2019 NFL Draft is set to be laden with defensive selections according to most mock drafts, with a few quarterbacks sprinkled around and a minimal selection of offensive weapons. If the Cowboys re-sign Lawrence, they’ll be looking good at defensive end, so should then turn to giving Prescott another weapon in the passing game, which will also help to keep defenses honest and give Elliott more room to operate.

As stated, the NFL is a passing league, and Prescott exploded once he was given a viable option in Amari Cooper. Michael Gallup is expected to take another step forward next season, but just in case, the Cowboys can add another strong receiving option in the draft thanks to the strength of the defensive class. A.J. Brown of Ole Miss will almost certainly go in the first round, but exciting talents in D.K. Metcalf, Parris Campbell, Marquise Brown, and Deebo Samuel could all still be available when Dallas rings in during the second round.

Improving Dallas' pass options and pass defense will go a long way toward improving the team and allowing them to push on to a bigger and better campaign in 2019.



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