The NFL trade deadline is tomorrow at 4:00 pm, and it’s expected to be another wild one. There have already been a number of reports of prime players who are on the trading block. So, should the Dallas Cowboys make another big move?
Teams who are expected to finish in the bottom 5-10 in the league will move on from players they think can bring them solid draft compensation. The teams either fighting for the playoffs, or even teams with likely Super Bowl aspirations, will decide if they’d rather have the late draft picks or a player to help win now and potentially the future.
The Cowboys made the first move, trading a first-round draft pick for wide receiver Amari Cooper from the Oakland Raiders. It was a wild and polarizing movie that reminded some of the old Jerry Jones, who would ship prime picks for players and these players would end up not producing at the level expected.
Nonetheless, wide receiver was a position of need and one that the Cowboys possibly would have looked at with that 2019 pick. Jerry and company must have decided that no rookie in next year’s class was better than Amari Cooper and decided he was the better option.
The team is currently at 3-4 and still in the NFC East title race. They shouldn’t stop at Cooper. The team should explore all players on the trade block who could potentially fill any of the remaining holes the team has.
I highly doubt that they go for another wide receiver. So, I apologize to anyone who was hoping DeVante Parker, Demaryius Thomas or DeSean Jackson could be a target. I also doubt they go for another running back like LeSean McCoy or Le’Veon Bell. Sorry.
There are some noteworthy players the Cowboys could and should consider. It will all come down to compensation and that both parties are willing to bite. If so, then the Cowboys have a shot at getting at least one of these players.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
A bit of a shocking move, but reports circulated yesterday that the Packers safety was on the trade block. Clinton-Dix has had a great year so far, totaling 24 tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups, so it seemed odd that they’d be willing to give up such a productive player.
It would seem that the Packers believe a few things here:
1) Clinton-Dix is in a contract year and they might not want to pay him. 2) The Packers have more depth in the secondary than in years past 3) They know they can get great compensation for him and still succeed this season.
The Cowboys missed out on trading for Earl Thomas but that shouldn’t stop them from sifting through the safety market. Especially when they’re ask skilled as this.
A player of his talent would fetch anywhere from a first to as low as a third round pick. The Cowboys were willing to give up a first for Cooper. I wonder what they’d be willing to give up for this man?
I tweeted out a while back that the Cowboys should trade for Amari Cooper and Charles Clay. After the Cooper trade became a reality, I immediately reiterated that they need to go after the Buffalo Bills tight end.
Again, I seriously doubt they go after another big name receiver, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t give Dak Prescott another weapon. Prescott relies on his tight ends in case he gets in trouble, and the ones Dallas currently have haven’t been as reliable as hoped.
Geoff Swaim has been the top receiving threat among that group with 19 catches, 205 yards, and a touchdown. This his best year in terms of stats, but it’s not enough.
Blake Jarwin has been disappointing and rookie fourth-round pick Dalton Shultz has been inactive most of the season. While Rico Gathers has gotten more looks in recent weeks, it hasn’t been consistent enough for the Cowboys to comfortably throw it to him.
Charles Clay in Buffalo has been outstanding. Prior to this year, he had 157 catches, 1,638 yards, and nine touchdowns. This year, with a new quarterback, he’s been massively underused; only 16 catches and 133 yards to his name. He’s much better than that and deserves much better.
Giving Dak Prescott a legitimate receiving threat at tight end would make him much more comfortable under pressure and we could see this team move the ball.
Charles Clay is still under contract through next year and doesn’t turn 30 until the end of the season. Buffalo is in rebuild mode and could use all the compensation that they can muster. Clay may only cost as much as a fifth-round pick, and if that’s the case the Cowboys should pull the trigger.
I said no BIG name receivers. However, this team could definitely use a return man. Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the league’s best return men, playing on a team who’s not afraid to trade some of their best players.
After trading away Ryan Switzer during the draft (a move I personally hated) the Cowboys were down a return man. They started the year relying on Tavon Austin. He’s got serious speed but can’t stay healthy.
Cole Beasley has been used lately but mostly fair catches punts, and Deonte Thompson generally takes the touchback on kick returns. This team is getting zero help in the return game.
Patterson is a player who takes risks but has the size and speed to allow it. The two-time All-Pro and Pro Bowl player has six returns for touchdowns in his career and has a career average of just over 30 yards per return.
While not really a punt returner, he would still be an improvement in that area as well. That would also allow Beasley to solely focus on his slot play. It would be the smart move.
The Cowboys need a return man and the Patriots are notorious for trading their best players (sans Tom Brady). If the Cowboys could offer a sensible pick and/or player to compensate then this move might be the most important on this list. You need to win all three facets of the game, and the Cowboys have seriously lacked in this area.
The Cowboys miss that Lance Dunbar-type. They miss having a third down/receiving back to spread the offense around, and give the team burst out of the backfield win Ezekiel Elliott is not in.
Despite a contract extension from the Browns this off-season, Duke Johnson (arguably their best offensive weapon) has barely been used. While he’s no threat to Elliott as the lead man, he is the kind of player the Cowboys were hoping Tavon Austin would be.
However, even after trading Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson still hasn’t gotten the looks he’s being paid for. Yes, he’s gotten plenty of catches but he deserves better.
The Cowboys like those extra speed backs. They throw to them out of the backfield and in the slot, run sweeps and screens successfully, and in case Prescott is being pressured, he’s another security blanket they can rely on.
Ezekiel Elliott is an elite running back but they can’t keep forcing him to play every snap if they want him healthy for the rest of the year. Rod Smith is a reliable second option but speed kills, and this team would kill for some speed. Jerry Jones, make it happen!
When you get halfway through a season, you start to figure out which players mesh and which players, who you want to keep for the long-haul, and which players you believe are expendable. The Cowboys are there right now.
The Cowboys have both types. They have players who are not only expendable, but could fetch solid compensation. At this point in the season, they’re still in it but they need to also have building blocks for the future, especially now that they no longer have a first-round pick next year.
Here are some current Cowboys that the team could consider moving:
1) Allen Hurns is probably the most popular option. He recently expressed he was displeased that he wasn’t seeing more targets and, despite coming off his best game of the season, his targets look like they’ll be even lower now.
With Cole Beasley going nowhere, Michael Gallup getting more and more snaps each game and improving each week, plus the addition of Amari Cooper, Hurns will likely be even more frustrated.
Realistically, he might not fetch more than a fifth-round pick. However, the Cowboys should do him a favor. Send him somewhere that needs him, get something back for him, and everyone can move on.
2) This may not be very popular, but I believe Randy Gregory is a possible trade chip. Despite his off the field concerns, when he has played he’s produced for this team.
Taco Charlton has taken a serious step forward this season and DeMarcus Lawrence is going nowhere. David Irving looks like he’ll also get an extension and Dorance Armstrong has shown promise. Randy Gregory could be the odd man out.
Every team needs a pass rusher and, while Gregory has had his moments this season, I wonder how much longer Dallas will want to hold on to him. He may be worth a draft pick or the right player to move on from.
3) Finally, Sean Lee is a name that might pop up. Personally, I’d like to keep him for the rest of the season but his time here is numbered.
As great a player as Shawn Lee is, he has always had a history of injuries and he is heading towards the wrong side of 30. There is a reason that Dallas drafted Leighton Vander Esch in the first round this year. Not only has he progressed well alongside Jaylon Smith, he’s made Lee expendable.
Sean Lee is a perfect fit for a team making a playoff or even a Super Bowl run this year; a veteran with experience and plenty of talent left in his tank. I’m not sure he will be on the Cowboys’ roster next year, so they might make the move now and get something out of him while they can.