This past week, news broke that the Dallas Cowboys turned down trade opportunities during the NFL Draft for a couple of their running backs. Also, former starting left guard, Ronald Leary, decided to skip OTAs and have his agent request a trade from the Cowboys.
Players requesting a trade isn’t uncommon, but teams aren’t going to just give away their players. They want to get as much compensation as possible, but it often comes down to finding a trade partner that is willing to meet your asking price.
Trades aren’t quite as commonplace in the NFL as they are in the NBA and MLB, but they still happen.
When I first heard the news that there was interest during the draft about trading for one of the Cowboys running backs, it got me thinking of other possible players on the roster that might be tradable commodities.
I came up with six players that are not only fighting for their roster spots with the Cowboys this year, but players that might draw interest from other teams around the league.
First off, I decided to start with the most obvious and the only player that has actually requested a trade, at least at this time.
He knows that if he remains on the Cowboys roster he will be behind La’el Collins and relegated to backup duty. His best chance to earn a starting position will more than likely be on another team’s roster in 2016.
The Cowboys, however, would probably be wise to retain his services because Leary is a proven starter in the NFL and if anything was to happen to the offensive guard position, he could step in and help alleviate that loss without the offensive line missing much of a beat.
Leary does have trade value, but I think the Cowboys would have to be blown away with an offer to send him packing. He is simply too valuable as a backup and the fact that the Cowboys will receive a future compensatory pick makes Leary’s trade unlikely.
Leary could become a commodity for a team that is looking for a starting offensive guard as we get closer to the start of the season, but don’t expect the Cowboys to just give him away.
Darren McFadden & Alfred Morris
It is interesting to know that both Morris and McFadden can be tradable commodities once we get closer to the start of the season.
The Cowboys seem to be loaded at the running back position and I don’t really see a scenario where they will carry two veteran running backs. I think it will come down to one or the other, but I won’t rule out the possibility of both Morris and McFadden playing for a different team in 2016.
I think this will ultimately come down to how well Darius Jackson performs and if he can earn the trust of the coaching staff. Jackson could make both McFadden and Morris expendable. If Lance Dunbar is able to return and pick up where he left off, that makes it far less likely that McFadden or Morris remains with the Cowboys.
Whether they like it or not, McFadden and Morris are tied together. It will more than likely come down to one or the other, but both of them could be playing for a different team this season.
The Cowboys have never really been able to find a consistent role on offense for Gavin Escobar, which is unfortunate because he has the talent to be a mismatch player in the NFL.
With the re-signing of tight end James Hanna, it looks as if the writing is on the wall for Escobar and his future with the organization.
If Escobar is fully recovered from his Achilles injury he would be an intriguing option for teams looking for that receiver type tight end that has grown in popularity around the NFL. It was rumored that the Cowboys turned down a third-round draft pick for Escobar last year and I wonder now if they are kicking themselves for that decision.
Of course, Escobar’s trade value will ultimately come down to how well he has recovered from his Achilles injury and whether or not the Cowboys still believe he is worthy of a roster spot.
J.J. Wilcox & Barry Church
J.J. Wilcox and Barry Church are both entering the final years of their contracts and both players could be fighting for their lives with the Cowboys.
Wilcox and Church are both similar in their playing styles. They both struggle in coverage and are more suitable to play down in the box.
Church has been solid as a starting strong safety the past few years, but it’s no secret that the organization is trying to improve the play at the safety position. He could become expendable if Kavon Frazier has anything to say about it.
Wilcox on the other hand was drafted as a project, with the hopes that he would develop into a starting safety for the Cowboys. Since being drafted, he’s shown that the lack of experience is still hurting him and he can’t be relied upon on a regular basis.
Wilcox might not have much trade value, but somebody may be willing to take a chance that they can help develop him further. He has physical skills, but he still doesn’t quite know how to apply them on the field.
Wilcox and Church are linked together much like Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris. If the Cowboys decide to go younger at the position, they could be playing for another team in 2016.