As we’ve discussed all week, guard Ronald Leary has requested a trade but the Cowboys aren’t going to just let him leave for nothing. Similarly, Stephen Jones recently disclosed that Dallas received calls from teams interested in running backs Darren McFadden and Alfred Morris after they drafted Ezekiel Elliott. Jones said, “we just don’t have that interest.”
Some of you are probably wondering why Dallas wouldn’t try to move some of these surplus players for future draft picks or a least some fresh talent at positions of need. Surely, some team out there who needs an guard or running back has a quality pass rusher they might be willing to part with. Why hang on to these guys?
In May and June, and really even in July and August, you’re still trying to get through camps and practices with as much talent as possible. As we Cowboys fans have learned painfully through the years, a star player can be lost in one of these summer activities before any real games are played. A Sean Lee injury can occur to any player at any time, and suddenly that surplus you thought you had has vanished.
Nobody wants to talk about it, but we have to face the reality that La’el Collins or Zack Martin could get injured at any point over the next three months. If that were to happen, how much would we then regret not having Leary ready to step in? What if Elliott goes down and now you’re down to just McFadden or Morris as your only experienced back?
Granted, these same questions could face the team in the regular season. However, at that point you’ve spent months working with the younger players. You have a better sense of who they are and what they can contribute, and ideally enough confidence to make one of these veterans expendable.
What’s more, the trade market can get even better as you wait. We saw the way Cowboys-Titans talk started swirling when the Titans lost a starting guard for the season. We know more injuries will occur and, with morbid hope, perhaps to teams who have players that Dallas wants and needs.
Simply put, it’s just too soon to start tossing quality players aside. So much can happen between now and Week One. Unless you get a truly greater offer, the prudent choice is to get through your camps and see if your current luxuries still exist as the season nears.
Not only may those luxuries have increased, but other teams’ desperation may have done the same. Patience will likely be rewarded by a better seller’s market. And if injuries hit you, then now you’ve got assets that can either help you at that position or be moved to supplement you where you’re hurting.
No matter the outcome, the Cowboys will likely be better off by waiting to make any deals.