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With Secondary Concerns, Should Cowboys Trade For S Kenny Vaccaro?

Brian Martin

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With Secondary Concerns, Should Cowboys Trade For S Kenny Vaccaro?

If the Dallas Cowboys didn't have concerns about their secondary before Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, they sure do now. Inexperience and injuries has depleted the Cowboys secondary so much so that it has become a major concern for the foreseeable future. Luckily, a solution could be within grasp that could come via trade with the New Orleans Saints for safety Kenny Vaccaro.

The New Orleans Saints have supposedly put their former first-round draft pick, Kenny Vaccaro, on the trade block. Vaccaro was the Saints 2013 first-round draft pick and was the 15th overall selection. He possesses Pro Bowl talent, but his inconsistencies on the field have held him back so far in his career.

Kenny Vaccaro could be just what the Dallas Cowboys need to solidify their secondary. He has a versatility to play strong or free safety, and has the ability to play out of the slot as well. The Cowboys love versatility in their secondary and Vaccaro certainly provides that.

S Kenny Vaccaro

S Kenny Vaccaro

Byron Jones is arguably the most talented defensive back the Cowboys have on the roster, but he has yet to take the next step in his development. The Cowboys other starting safety, Jeff Heath, is probably best suited to be a special teams ace and reserve safety, instead of a starter. Both Jones and Heath struggled in both coverage and tackling against the Broncos, which should be a huge concern.

There were just too many times Sunday afternoon where it looked as if both Byron Jones and Jeff Heath were playing soft or out of position. There were a number of circumstances where they could've made a play for a short gain, but failed to do so. This is a huge concern because the safety position is the last line of defense.

Now, the safety position wasn't the only secondary position that didn't perform at their best against the Broncos. The Cowboys cornerbacks gave up four passing touchdowns against the Broncos and are depleted at the moment because of injuries and inexperience. Something needs to be done in order to solidify the secondary for the Dallas Cowboys.

S Kenny Vaccaro

S Kenny Vaccaro

Taking all of that into consideration, Kenny Vaccaro would likely be an immediate upgrade at the safety position. I believe he would be an excellent pairing with Byron Jones and solidify the backend of the Cowboys defense. Vaccaro's addition would also allow Jones to play some CB if needed.

Of course, Vaccaro is currently playing under the fifth-year option for the New Orleans Saints. That means he is making $5,676,000 this year, which might be more than the Cowboys are willing to pay for a one-year rental. They could however work out a short-term extension to lessen his cap hit, but they would first have to work out a trade with the Saints.

All in all, I believe that Kenny Vaccaro could come in and help improve the secondary for the Dallas Cowboys if they are able to work out a trade with the New Orleans Saints. His versatility would allow defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to do things on the backend of the Cowboys defense he is not currently able to do.

Would you be on board with the Cowboys trading for Kenny Vaccaro?



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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100 Comments

100 Comments

  1. Hobbes49

    September 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Absolutely. He would bring a little attitude as well, which outside of Scandrick is sorely lacking. Heath is not the answer.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Jeff Heath is serviceable, but I think he’s best suited as a reserve safety and as a special teams ace. Kenny Vaccaro would be an immediate upgrade at SS.

      • Hobbes49

        September 19, 2017 at 10:25 am

        Agreed. I really hope Chido can get over his hamstring issues. We need to see if these kids can be the future. There are signs. Maybe Xavier Woods will surprise us as well.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          September 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

          Health in the secondary would go a long ways and improving the unit. That goes for everybody. I just don’t know how much the coaching staff trust Xavier Woods right now. But, I agree. Woods could receive more opportunities if things don’t improve quickly.

        • PDidIt

          September 20, 2017 at 5:01 pm

          But damn, if you want hamstring problems then come to Dallas. Why is that? I am excited about our young defensive backfield, I think we may have a couple trash talking rookies with the mindset, they were good enough to drafted means they have no fear playing with the big boys.

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            September 20, 2017 at 5:23 pm

            Hamstring injuries are probably the most common injury in the entire NFL. The Cowboys certainly have their fair share that’s for sure. Fortunately, none of them seem to be of the serious nature.

      • Shariff Runtdawg Williams

        September 23, 2017 at 6:05 pm

        jeff heath is awful and always has been..think back..he been toasted ,burned and run over way too many times to still be a safety in dallas…special teams MAYBE

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          September 23, 2017 at 6:45 pm

          What you say is partially true, but he’s also made some big plays when given the chance.

  2. Nicole Ravenell Edwards

    September 19, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    What about giving up Dez for Vaccaro

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      I don’t understand the frustration with Bryant. He has been the lone bright spot in the passing game. He is still a top 10 WR in the NFL. Prescott and Bryant just need to work on their chemistry and better playcalling would help also.

      • Steve Johnson

        September 19, 2017 at 4:07 pm

        Would slow down on top10.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          September 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          I still believe he’s a top 10 WR. His production has slipped because he’s playing with a new QB and they haven’t been able to build that bond/trust just yet.

          • Demetrius Pearce

            September 20, 2017 at 2:45 pm

            I blame the coaching staff for dez& daks ‘a chemistry, they need to be more creative and find ways to get him involved in the game early to gain some type of rythm to build on throughout the game , secondly the coaches have to do better at adjusting after half time we seem too one dimensional right now ..

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            September 20, 2017 at 4:46 pm

            The playcalling is definitely questionable. It’s become somewhat predictable and something needs to change.

          • l.a

            September 20, 2017 at 8:15 pm

            Yes the play calling on offense we have so many weapons need to use them more put dez in the slot in the four wide set with either Beasley or switzer and t will and butler on the edge it would open up the run.

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            September 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm

            I’m pretty sure they have all of that in the playbook already. It’s just a matter of time until they probably start calling those plays hopefully.

        • Datschu

          September 20, 2017 at 2:52 pm

          Really Steve? You believe there’s 10 better WRs in the NFL than DEZ?

          • Datschu

            September 20, 2017 at 2:53 pm

            If so name them…. I’m waiting

      • Todd Bostic

        September 20, 2017 at 11:15 am

        I think Dez is just there to draw his 70 mil paycheck. Cole Beasley was the leading receiver last year and Terrence Williams and Brice Butler can make up for lack of receptions Dez would have brought. I think he is more of a Jerry interest. I know the connection between him and Tony Romo was great, but Dak has a better connection with Beasley. Trade Dez and save money.

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          September 20, 2017 at 1:04 pm

          I really don’t understand all the hate for Dez Bryant. Yes, Prescott likes to check the ball down to Beasley, but that doesn’t mean Bryant is washed up. Honestly, it has a lot to do with the playcalling. This team has a run first mentality now which will cut down on Bryant’s targets. There is no way Dez Bryant is traded.

          • Datschu

            September 20, 2017 at 2:57 pm

            Bruh and he gets double covered. The d rolls safety help to him every passing play…DEZ being the weapon he is OPENS UP stuff for the other WRs… learn the game guy. Holy cow

        • Datschu

          September 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm

          Bruh your comments show you know absolutely NOTHING about the game and how it’s played! It’s laughable!!
          DEZ is the biggest receiving threat on the team… which means every team rolls safety coverage to HIM! Every d coordinator does that with DEZ… basically he’s double covered on every route… and he still gets his….
          learn the game before you post stupid stuff guy

          • Brian Martin

            Brian Martin

            September 20, 2017 at 4:47 pm

            Not only do defenses usually have a safety playing over the top, but a lot of times they have a linebacker underneath.

          • Todd Bostic

            September 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm

            Well, I know more than you seem to think I do, but I’ll take everything under consideration.

          • l.a

            September 20, 2017 at 8:18 pm

            If so we need to play more upfront man with to deep safeties and on there crossing routes hand off to the other man with a little more blitzes change up from zone to man disguise the defense for goodness sake.

          • Todd Bostic

            September 20, 2017 at 8:28 pm

            With the linebacking group they have, they should be able to stop crossing routes, and spy the qb pretty good. And with Moore coming off suspension, their d-line should improve now, with both sides covered.

          • l.a

            September 20, 2017 at 8:42 pm

            Your right cause this zone ain’t working

    • Datschu

      September 20, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Nicole you win the award for dumbest question of the year

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        Stupid comment

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:54 pm

        Lmao

    • PDidIt

      September 20, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Nah

    • l.a

      September 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm

      No sir

  3. Mike in Texas

    September 19, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Byron Jones is the worst safety in the NFL. Has been since day one. Three years and the guy hasn’t made a single play. I’ll take Jeff Heath over Byron Jones any day because at least every now and then Heath makes a play. Jones is soft as butter, has zero ball skills, doesn’t tackle, can’t cover, takes horrible angles, etc. The guys a complete bum and has no business being on an NFL roster. Worst player in the entire league.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Mike, I couldn’t disagree more about Byron Jones. He is a good safety, but a lot of things he does well for the defense goes unnoticed. Yes, we would like to see him make more plays on the ball, but he just hasn’t had many chances. I was expecting him to have a breakout year this season, but I’m unsure now. Hopefully can put everything together and finally reach his potential.

      • Datschu

        September 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm

        Byrons problem honestly is where they drafted him. He clearly wasn’t a first round player… maybe not even a second… but the team and media have hyped him up so much the fans expect more… period point blank

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          September 20, 2017 at 4:48 pm

          Byron Jones possesses first-round talent. He just hasn’t been able to develop the way a lot of us had predicted. He’s played well considering everything that he is asked to do on defense.

          • l.a

            September 20, 2017 at 8:41 pm

            He is as a couple others are man to man corners who needs to play bump and run

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm

        With more blitzing u leave any corner on an island in soft 10 yard zone away from the receiver and u will find a spot to sit in and catch the ball every time

    • ghetto eskimo

      September 20, 2017 at 7:57 am

      i can see why you would say that based off of the last game, but Byron Jones is a great player, he totally took Evan Engram out of the Giants game plan… Engram was making plays against the Lions terrible safeties in week 2, those holes were not there in Week 1…. because of Byron Jones……. look at the game when Jones matched up with Gronk… gronk didn’t score until they got him away from Jones.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        September 20, 2017 at 1:05 pm

        You’re exactly right. What Byron Jones is able to do for the defense is vastly underestimated. Yes, we would all like to see him get his hands on the ball more, but that’s just going to be difficult to do because of what he is asked to do by the coaching staff.

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm

        Yeah he was match up man to man

    • Freddie Washington

      September 20, 2017 at 11:57 am

      I AGREE BYRON JONES SUCKS. HE NEVER MAKES A PLAY. HE NEVER GETS CLOSE TO ANYBIDY. PLEASE CUT HIM. HE IS WORST THAN THAT THIEF BRANDON CARR EVER WAS.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        September 20, 2017 at 1:06 pm

        Freddie, I couldn’t disagree with you more. Byron Jones lack of turnovers is because of what and how the coaching staff uses him on defense. He is vastly underrated for how much he helps the backend of the Cowboys defense.

      • Datschu

        September 20, 2017 at 3:03 pm

        Calm down Freddie… he’s asked to produce by the fans more than even the team

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm

        Fall back sir what are u watching

    • Datschu

      September 20, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      Not the worst don’t over exaggerate… the problem with Byron is where he was drafted and the team and media have hyped him up to a level he can’t produce at yet… if ever…
      THAT is the problem with byron

    • Datschu

      September 20, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Mike you’re delusional…

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

        Right right

  4. MLV

    September 19, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Yes sir, however I dont think that will happen, the Boys seem to be in love with Heath in the secondary though his play has been average at best, since getting burnt early on, they have been hesitant in bringing in big name players from other teams!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      I think it’s doubtful it happens also. With him being in the final year of his contract they would likely have to give up a future traffic and hopefully sign him to a short-term extension. It’s doubtful they would want just a one year rental.

  5. Kenyatta Adams

    September 19, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    That would be a great pick up for the Boys. Maybe we could trade Butler for him pls a 6th round pick. He has speed and he can hit!!!!!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 3:35 pm

      I doubt the Saints are looking for another WR. They seem to be pretty deep at the position. But, trading a player isn’t a bad idea. Maybe someone like Tyrone Crawford, but I don’t see that happening either.

  6. CWZ34

    September 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I would be on board for any upgrade at the safety and db position. My question is would the Jones’s even trade for an upgrade. If they didnt do it before the preseason or season, knowing they needed upgrades in the backfield or at least some veterans to help guide the rookies, more in likely they wont during the season.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      They were hopeful that some of these young defensive backs would be able to the step up and take over as starters. Unfortunately nearly all of them have been dealing with injuries the majority of the off-season. I kind of doubt the Cowboys make a move, but I believe they will keep all options open.

  7. Steve Shepard

    September 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    “Hell Yeah, I Would Love To See Kenny Vaccaro & Byron Jones holding down the Last Line of Defense for the Cowboys !

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      I think they would make a really good starting duo.

    • Freddie Washington

      September 20, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      Vaccaro is from the Longhorn Safety Machine. He would fit in well at Dallas with their interchangeable schemes.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        September 20, 2017 at 1:19 pm

        I completely agree. He has been stuck playing on a bad Saints D, so everybody associates him with losing. He is a good player that has been surrounded by mediocrity. I think Kenny Vaccaro and Byron Jones would make a really good starting duo.

  8. EverybodyTalks

    September 19, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    I don’t know if that is a knee-jerk or not. Nate Newton had the answer after the Denver beatdown. He said to get the new guys into the game because what they experienced last Sunday was what usually takes 3 or 4 games. Play Xavier Wood and Kavon in heavy rotation with Heath/Byron. Let Jourdan Lewis, Brown and Awuzie (probably not Chidobe this week, but next week) get the reps with Scandrick. Let Carrol sit/back-up. If you look, Wood and Lewis both stuck their noses into that grinder. Xavier was even up in the slot. The other thing is, Wood was all over the field during the Rams preseason game Lewis was definitely”next man up” and pulled down his 1st interception. My own thought is bring Byron in as CB/S and do the same with Awuzie. Chidobe played both in Colorado. It’s a wrinkle.
    In other news, we are back to one Elliott. Jayrone was released and now we have 2 Moores. It makes me speculate that Hitch is returning sooner over later.

  9. Emilio Gonzalez

    September 19, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I say yes 4 the right price why not it will be a Big improvement in secondary right now. Thanks

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      The asking price may be the only hold up. But, I highly doubt the Cowboys make this kind of a move. I think they like what they have on the roster right now more than most people.

  10. Emilio Gonzalez

    September 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Xavier woods is going lay the wood down sooner than later as a Safety.Thanks

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      That’s what were all hoping. Woods has the talent to be a starting safety, just needs to get up to speed and gain more experience.

  11. CashfloFromSTL

    September 20, 2017 at 12:42 am

    We need some fresh air in the secondary definitely. My concerns are really at CB. Our two rookies are very raw right now, and needs to brought alone slowly. I wanted Joe Haden. Now’s not the time to mess around. We need secondary help!

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Joe Hayden is vastly declining as a player. If you watch him with the Steelers he is being used and abused at will. QBs are targeting him and completing passes. I like our young CBs, they just need to get healthy and get on the field. Both of them can start right now if they were fully healthy.

  12. billy jack

    September 20, 2017 at 1:11 am

    come on jerry make the deal

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      It’s highly doubtful, but it is fun to debate.

  13. Javier Enrique Zetina Pinelo

    September 20, 2017 at 3:45 am

    definitivamente seria mejor que heath y gran ayuda aunque también hay que pensar que los tackles defensivos solo tuvieron una tacleada cada uno por lo que denver corrió lo que quiso y hay que parar primero la carrera para preocuparse después del pase observen el juego de dallas 0.9 yardas por tierra y 50 pases se necesitan urgente mente tackles defensivos y hay que ver las dificultades de dez bryant para lograr separación en este partido también teniendo que empujar para lograrlo y ser superado en lo alto en zona de anotación los vaqueros necesitan un receptor numero 1 urgentemente y de ser posible un numero dos no pueden seguir perdiendo pases corriendo malas rutas no logrando separación demasiadas necesidades básicas un 7-9 muy logico

  14. Rodney Simpson

    September 20, 2017 at 6:33 am

    I agree Dallas wanted to draft him out of college and heath is good but he looked tired Sunday. I also wish everyone would address the 400 pound elephant in the room. That team looked tired from the elevation issue no excuses i get it. But I have never saw the O line struggle to block anyone or Ron Leary sold us out the Broncos knew what was coming pre snap watch the game

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      The reason Jeff Heath looked tired Sunday night was because he played more snaps on defense plus he played nearly every special-teams unit. We’re just going to have to chalk up the Broncos came to a bad performance and hope everyone is able to bounce back.

      • Rodney Simpson

        September 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm

        I agree so you don’t believe the elevation had nothing to do with all of the players looking tired missing tackles and assignments the whole game ? Just wanted to hear your opinionBut yes we must get over it DC4L

        • Brian Martin

          Brian Martin

          September 20, 2017 at 2:47 pm

          The elevation may have affected them a little bit, but not enough to warrant the poor play of nearly everybody. Teams know what they’re getting into when they play in Denver and prepare themselves accordingly. The Cowboys simply played bad.

          • Rodney Simpson

            September 20, 2017 at 8:57 pm

            I agree on to the next game !

  15. Pete186

    September 20, 2017 at 9:16 am

    HELP !!! HEATH IS NOT A STARTER !!! With 15 Mill under the CAP what are we waiting for ?

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      I’m still holding my judgment on Jeff Heath’s performance until little later in the season. We are just two games into the 2017 season, but he could definitely play better.

  16. Datschu

    September 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Why would be trading for this guy be so great when the writer just said that KVs issues are the same that Dallas current safeties currently have?
    Why add another safety with untapped “potential”?

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 4:50 pm

      I think Kenny Vaccaro’s issues in large part have to do with how bad the Saints defense has been. I still believe he is a good player and would be an upgrade at the safety position.

  17. PDidIt

    September 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm

    Hell yeah! We liked him coming out and The Saints grabbed him. It would make all the sense in the world.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      I agree, but I kind of doubt it happens. I think the Cowboys like the players currently on the roster more than we probably do.

  18. l.a

    September 20, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    Yes for a 3rd or 4th round pick but put him out there with Xavier woods and put Byron at corner with Orlando and either lewis or chidobe

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm

      I think he could be had for a 6th honestly. And that’s the great thing about him. I provide so much flexibility among the Cowboys defensive backs. There really endless possibilities of how to utilize each player.

      • l.a

        September 20, 2017 at 8:50 pm

        Then they need to start Monday or we will see the same all year long

  19. l.a

    September 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    This is the nfl they need to show something different every game and only switch it up when it is broke if u watch game film we only run zone schemes half the time and we don’t send zeke on enough passing routes offense to simple to pick up and we run into blitzes to much

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 21, 2017 at 8:48 am

      I agree that the playcalling has become somewhat predictable. I was really surprised that they didn’t try to get the ball in Zeke’s hands in the passing game against the Broncos. Something needs to change.

  20. l.a

    September 20, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Then they need to grab him now

    • Dan

      September 20, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      You can’t have a safety that won’t stick his nose in. Jones has got great athleticism, he can cover but that’s not that valuable when they guy can’t catch. But the biggest thing for me is he plays scared which IMO is a non-negotiable if he’s defending in the box. He simply won’t attack the ball carrier, he’ll coral and wrap up, never hit. He’d be my no.3 safety on dime packages covering a TE until his contract runs out, and no way would I be taking up the 5th year option.

      • Brian Martin

        Brian Martin

        September 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

        I don’t really think Byron Jones play soft. He is best as a deep safety and that’s how they typically use him. He is usually in man-to-man coverage and not around the line of scrimmage to make a tackle. And honestly, I don’t mind his wrap up tackling. I don’t like hard-hitting safety going for the knockout shot, only to have the ballcarrier bounce off them and pick up extra yardage.

        • Dan

          September 21, 2017 at 10:30 am

          He’s typically used as a deep safety but is usually in man to man coverage?……..Walk me through that.

          We’ll have to agree to disagree on the softness thing. I get not liking guys whiffing on big hits but there’s a balance between always looking to knock a guys lights out and making business decisions. And IMO Byron Jones definitely has a crisp white shirt, tie and pin stripes on.

  21. l.a

    September 20, 2017 at 9:07 pm

    More blitzes and hands up by the De line with more push from the dt

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 21, 2017 at 9:00 am

      I doubt we see more blitzes until the Cowboy secondary settles in

  22. l.a

    September 20, 2017 at 9:08 pm

    More Xavier woods let’s go cowboys

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 21, 2017 at 9:01 am

      I could see him utilized more in some sub packages. I don’t think he’s ready to take over as a starter just yet though

  23. Tristan Hays

    September 21, 2017 at 1:48 am

    Yeah of course it would be nice to sign him but we know that wouldn’t happen. We don’t shit like that. They are going to need to bring in a dominate D-linemen and a really good secondary player. Until we do that this will keep happening! We better beat Arizona but after that the schedule doesn’t get any easier…

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 21, 2017 at 9:02 am

      I kinda doubt it happens to, but it’s fun to debate/discuss. Finding a dominant DL or secondary players going to be nearly impossible at this point the season. That’s why the draft is so important, because teams hang on to their really good players.

  24. Anthony Ceniccola

    September 21, 2017 at 6:53 am

    I like the idea, I think dallas liked him a lot in that draft and I agree he would be an upgrade in the secondary. I would trade a 5th for sure.

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 21, 2017 at 9:03 am

      A 5th would be as high as I would go. I honestly think that a 6th would do it.

  25. Ravi Campbell

    September 21, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    First of all how can u ask if we’d be on board with a trade when you haven’t even suggested who the cowboys might give up for him? Second, no I’m not on board to sign a player at this stage who doesnt know Marinelli’s system, and if he’s on the trading block u need to ask yourself why? It’s only one game, let’s see how this plays out before we freak out and throw in the towel

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

      It was a hypothetical trade question, hence not suggesting what the Cowboys might have to give up to obtain him. But, if you’re asking, then I think they could probably get him for a 6th round draft pick in 2018. Secondly, Marinelli’s defense is rather simplistic and wouldn’t take long to get up to speed. In the meantime, he could be used in sub packages until he was ready to be a full-time starter. And the reason he’s on the trade block is probably because the Saints are probably trying to get some kind of compensation before he leaves via free agency. They don’t want to sign him to a long-term contract because they have a young player (Von Bell) waiting in the wings. And I’m not freaking out at all about the Cowboys after last week’s performance against the Broncos. I was merely throwing it out there that the Cowboys could possibly upgrade the safety position by trading for Kenny Vaccaro.

  26. Tim Rafferty

    September 22, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    The only concern , as you indicated early in your article was ” hasn’t live up to his potential ” . Is this a byproduct of talent OR the seeming carocel of defensive schemes that have left that unit as a whole ” without ” directions ” ? Also what draft capital would it cost us ? What’s the probability he fits our future salary cap situation ? Our RTG is about to buy a island of his choice . I know we have a extension for our RTT but assuming he plays well , I see LC becoming another Eric Williams . ( The only player iv every seen MAN handle the great Reggie White )

    • Brian Martin

      Brian Martin

      September 23, 2017 at 9:58 am

      I think he hasn’t lived up to his potential because he has been moved around on defense and he’s playing on a talent poor Saints D. I really think a change in scenery will help him reach that potential and become a more consistent player. I honestly believe that a 6th round draft pick next year would be enough to trade for him. But, the Cowboys would likely want to work out some kind of extension, either short or long-term to help with the salary cap. I’m not too worried about them re-signing OG Martin. That contract will be done at some point. I don’t think it would dissuade them from signing any other vet players. The salary cap increases every year also.

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After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...

Paul Schwartz on Twitter

Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.

And Landon Collins had this to say...

LANDON COLLINS on Twitter

@NYPost_Schwartz The stuff in that locker that I have left I do not need💯

If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.

The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.

Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.

The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.

Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.

Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.

We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.



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Dallas Cowboys

Terrance Williams Was OK, But Cowboys Need More From Michael Gallup

Jess Haynie

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Can WR Michael Gallup Eclipse 1,000 Receiving Yards as a Rookie?

Just yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys declined an option on Wide Receiver Terrance Williams' contract and ended his six-year tenure with the team. One reason the veteran was no longer in their plans was the presence of Michael Gallup, who the team has high hopes for entering just his second NFL season.

It's interesting to compare Gallup and Williams on several levels. Just as Terrance's time ends, having only made a few appearance last year in just three games, Michael was a fast learner as a rookie and emerged as the team's number-two receiver by the playoffs.

Both were third-round picks, with Williams (74th) being selected just seven spots higher overall in 2013 than Gallup (81st) was in 2018.

Terrance came to Dallas when Dez Bryant was firmly entrenched as the team's primary receiver. Michael was drafted less than a month after Dez was released, but Amari Cooper soon established himself as the number-one WR midway through the year.

In both cases, the Cowboys hoped that their third-round selection would yield a player who could at least play a complimentary role as a solid roleplayer, if not regular starter.

For all his warts Terrance Williams was ultimately a solid draft pick. He started in about 75% of the games he played in and was a proficient run blocker, helping both DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott have big years. He also made some highlight reel catches in his time.

Did Terrance Williams' Big Game Quiet His Doubters?

Dallas Cowboys WR Terrance Williams

But with those big plays came some big blunders. Terrance often had a bad drop for every good catch he made. A huge mental error may have cost Dallas the 2016 season opener against the Giants. And if the team wasn't already starting to turn on him, his 2018 arrest for public intoxication seemed to push them over the edge.

That said, the biggest issue with Williams was his inability to produce without other plays drawing attention. He didn't rise to the occasion when Dez Bryant was injured. He rarely even made defenses pay for giving Dez too much attention.

At his best, Terrance was a solid number-two receiver. Plenty of teams who've spent first-round picks on receivers wish they could they'd gotten as much in return. Nobody should be disappointed with how that 2013 third-round pick turned out.

But when it comes to Michael Gallup, Dallas should hope that Williams' career is the floor for Gallup's potential. As teams key on Amari Cooper going forward, can Gallup do damage in ways that Terrance rarely could?

Even more importantly, if Cooper were to ever get injured, could Michael step up and take on a larger role? Can Dallas finally have a number-two receiver with the capacity for occasionally taking the lead?

#DALvsWAS: Michael Gallup Will Play, Value Extends Beyond Passing Game 1

Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Gallup

That may be putting too much pressure on young Mr. Gallup but it's really not an unfair expectation. Recent drafts have produced highly productive third-round receivers such as Keenan Allen, Cooper Kupp, Kenny Golladay, and Tyler Lockett.

Even more pressure comes if Cole Beasley leaves the team in free agency. While his role lessened toward the end of 2018, Cole remained one of Dak Prescott's favorite options in clutch situations. He was almost impossible to stop with just one man covering him, and that gave defenses a real dilemma once Amari Cooper arrived.

Can Gallup fill those shoes? Can he become a reliable target when the game is on the line?

In the end, all Michael has to do is be a solid starter to provide a great value for his draft selection. The Williams standard isn't a bad measure.

But if the Cowboys ever want to win more than just the occasional playoff game then they need another receiving threat who truly punishes opposing defenses. They need the next Alvin Harper, not the next Terrance Williams.

We can only hope, as the team does, that Michael Gallup is up to the task.



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Deep Dive into the Dallas Cowboys 2019 Salary Cap

John Williams

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Sean's Scout: Cowboys Blitzes Keep Giants Play Makers in Check

The Dallas Cowboys are heading into free agency, which opens March 13th, in really good shape. The Cowboys will be able to be aggressive in the free agent market if they want to. They have the 10th most cap space in the NFL. It could make for a fun free agency period for the front office and Cowboys Nation, however, we know how this team has felt about spending on outside free agents since being burned by the Brandon Carr signing.

In years past, they’ve opted to bargain shop. Last year was a departure from the norm though, as they chased the mythical unicorn that is Sammy Watkins last offseason.

Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make. 

They haven’t generally been a team that chased big-time free agents, though this could be the season that all changes with several free agent safeties that could be immediate upgrades.

We know they’re going to spend a lot of money on their own with Demarcus Lawrence coming free and Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and Dak Prescott looking for contract extensions, but they’re could Ben opportunities to bring in a star from another player to come where The Star.

I hope Jerry Jones has his signing hand ready, it’s going to be putting in a lot of work over the next couple of months.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve had people on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, Google+, MySpace, AOL Chatrooms, and via USPS correspondence express concern about whether the Dallas Cowboys will be able to afford all their guys and chase free agents.

Not to worry Cowboys fan, with a little salary cap and contract gymnastics, the sky’s the limit.

Let’s take a look.

Current Cap Space

According to OverTheCap.com, the 2019 Salary Cap is estimated to be around $190 million. After the release of Terrance Williams, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to have nearly $48 million in cap space available to them when free agency opens on March 13th.

When you look at that number by itself, it doesn’t look like a lot with big money contracts coming to DeMarcus Lawrence, Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and Byron Jones. Remember, though, the salary cap may be a fixed number, but contracts are pliable, meaning the team can do several things to create cap space through releases, how they structure new contracts, and restructures.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, the Dallas Cowboys will have the money they need to sign the players they want to sign.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 2

Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Likely Releases

Sean Lee, Linebacker

Age and injury catch up to everyone and this is where we are with All-Pro Linebacker Sean Lee who will be turning 33 in July. Lee’s career has just been unlucky from the time he set foot in Dallas.

Since coming to the Cowboys in the 2010 draft, Lee has only played in 64% of the possible 149 games that the Dallas Cowboys have played in that time frame. Contrast that with a player like Zack Martin who has played in all but two games in his five-year career. That’s a 92% availability rate for his career.

The Dallas Cowboys don’t typically pay age. The difficult choice with Lee is that he’s long been a leader for the Dallas Cowboys. However, with the emergence of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, it’s extremely difficult to justify a $7 million cap hit to a part-time player.

Allen Hurns, Wide Receiver

Allen Hurns was a roller coaster ride in 2018.

First, it appeared he was brought in to be an upgrade at the number two spot. Then when the Cowboys shocked the world and released Dez Bryant, he immediately moved up the wide receiver pecking order, but was generally ineffective. After the Cowboys acquired Amari Cooper, Hurns became somewhat of an afterthought in the wide receiver snap distribution. Then he was lost in the win over the Seattle Seahawks with a gruesome ankle injury.

Allen Hurns is a fine player, but the Cowboys could get $5 million in cap relief by parting ways with the former 1,000 yard receiver.

A couple weeks ago, I outlined why I think Hurns could be a solution to the problem facing the Cowboys if Cole Beasley walked away. Hurns best attributes shine when deployed in the slot and asked to run over the middle of the field.

Coming off of the ankle injury, the Cowboys could easily move on and use that $5 million to extend one of their own or go after a big name in free agency.

Unlikely, but not Impossible Releases

The next few players are players that will most likely be on the squad in 2019. But as we saw with Dez Bryant, there can always be surprises.

Joe Looney, Center

The 2018 season seemed almost sunk when news came down that Center Travis Frederick was diagnosed with Guillen-Barre Syndrome during training camp. One of the stories of the 2018 season, was the play of Frederick’s backup Joe Looney. Looney may not have been the most valuable player, but you can’t understate how important he wasn’t to the success the Dallas Cowboys had in 2018.

We’ve seen what happens when backups who are incredibly inferior to the starter they play behind see action. Think back to Atlanta in 2017. If the Cowboys get better play from Chaz Green and Byron Bell, that game and perhaps the season turns out differently. Kind of like when Cameron Fleming filled in for Tyron Smith this season. It was a completely different result. Was Fleming perfect? No, but he wasn’t a disaster and the Cowboys were able to win games without their All-Pro left tackle.

Joe Looney is going to be with this team unless someone loses their center and wants to trade for him. In the event the Cowboys wanted to get some cap relief, they could save $1.5 million in 2019, with only $125 thousand in dead money on the cap.

I don’t see them making this move, but for those of you curious, there are the numbers.

Joe Thomas, Linebacker

Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch got all the glory at the linebacker position in 2018, and for good reason, but Joe Thomas was an important piece to the puzzle as well. He provided excellent depth and a lot of good snaps for the Cowboys in 2018, which is why I think he’s back next year.

He only saves you about $2 million on the cap, but if you didn’t want to pay a  backup linebacker $2 million, then you could part ways with him.

Jeff Heath, Safety

Jeff Heath is a solid player, but gets relied upon for a little more than he should. He’d probably be best served with being a rotational safety in the NFL. He has a penchant for making plays, but also has some maddening snaps as well, like the final play against the Rams where Jared Goff was able to scramble for a first down. Heath never saw the bootleg and was late getting to Goff to keep him from picking up the first down.

The Dallas Cowboys like him as a player and he’s likely to stay with the team. He helps on special teams and provides valuable depth.

If they were to move on, they could save $2.5 million.

La’el Collins, Tackle

It’s not often you hear people talk about releasing a starting tackle, and I’m certainly not here to advocate for that.

Collins has had some up and down games, but in his short two-year stint at right tackle he’s been pretty good. He’s stood tall against some of the best pass rushers in the NFL.

His contract will carry him through the 2019 season, but if the Dallas Cowboys wanted to part ways, again, not saying they should, they could save a whopping $8.5 million in the salary cap.

$8.5 million could be the cost of Earl a Thomas or a Tre Boston. That’s  pretty big chunk of change.

Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, Travis Frederick, offensive line

Dallas Cowboys offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Zack Martin and Travis Frederick

Potential Restructures

When it comes to restructures, the Dallas Cowboys have been selective over recent years with who they choose to flip the switch on.

A restructure doesn’t change the money owed to the player, just changes when the pay out happens. When a team and a player agree to a restructure, the cap hit or base salary is lowered to a more manageable amount and the difference is paid out as a bonus. The bonus is then spread out evenly over the remaining years of the contract.

For example.

Player A has four years remaining on their deal with a cap hit of $16 million per year for the rest of the contract. The team and player A agree to restructure the contract to decrease this season’s base salary to $1 million dollars. The $15 million difference is then paid out as a bonus and then the cap hit is added to the final three years. So instead of the cap hit being $16 million per year for the remainder of the contract, it is now $21 million per year.

The problem with restructuring contracts is that you better hope that the players you restructure make it to the end of their contract otherwise you could end up with big dead money holds on your cap.

The Dallas Cowboys could restructure the following players:

Tyron Smith, Tackle

The Dallas Cowboys All-Pro Left Tackle may be the best draft pick they’ve made in the last 10 years. He’s been one of the best in the game at his position for nearly his entire NFL career and until recent seasons, had been incredibly reliable.

According to Over The Cap, if the Cowboys decided to restructure Smith’s contract, they could get $7.26 million added to the salary cap this season.

That’s a big number, which would help you get your hands on a top safety or defensive lineman in free agency. The reasons why you wouldn’t do it surround Tyron’s health.

He’s missed games each of the last three seasons because of back issues. He’s signed through the 2023 season, which is his age 33 season. It’s entirely possible that he continues to play at a high level through the end of the contract, but you’ll always be a bit concerned about his back.

Zack Martin, Guard

If Tyron was the best draft pick, Zack Martin is a close second. He’s been the definition of reliability as he’s provided elite guard play through the first five years of his career making the All-Pro team each of his first five seasons.

If I were managing the cap for the Dallas Cowboys, it would be a no brainer to restructure Martin who is signed through the 2024 season; his age 34 season. Offensive lineman can play at a high level well into their 30’s barring injury and Zack has the ability to be one of those guys. At his current pace, he could one day end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

By restructuring Martin, the Dallas Cowboys could save $7.36 million on the 2019 salary cap.

Travis Frederick, Center

Last summer was a scary situation for Travis Frederick and by all accounts his recovery is going well. It sounds like he should be ready to go by training camp, and if that’s the case, there’s no reason to believe that Frederick won’t be the player we’ve all come to expect and missed during the 2018 season.

He’s a leader on the offensive line. He’s an excellent communicator and really good at blocking other big humans.

Getting Frederick back for the 2019 season is as big of an upgrade as you could have on an offense. He changes everything. He helps set protections and call out stunts. He will make Conor Williams a better guard just by being present. The offense as a whole will be better by having Frederick available.

Like Smith and Martin, there’s no reason to believe that he won’t play out his current contract at a high level. Even if he’s only 75% of his previous self because of the illness, that’s still a really good football player who is worth every bit of the $10 million a year he’s getting paid.

Travis Frederick has five more years left on his contract. If the Cowboys were to restructure his deal, they could gain another $4.1 million in cap relief this offseason.

Tyrone Crawford, Defensive Line

If ever there was a player that was a victim of his contract it’s Tyrone Crawford. The Dallas Cowboys signed him to an extension thinking he would be the answer at the 3-technique defensive tackle spot. He was good on his rookie deal but his contract was more of a projection than a deal based on prior production.

Unfortunately, Crawford hasn’t lived up to his deal, but he’s been a reliable and versatile player for the Dallas Cowboys. His ability to play both at defensive end and defensive tackle has been huge over the years and he’s come up with some timely defensive plays.

Crawford has two years remaining on his contract that runs through the 2020 season and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Cowboys keep him around. He’s a leader on the defense and he gives you good quality snaps. As they continue to wait for Randy Gregory and/or Taco Charlton to take steps forward, Crawford is a guy that they like and will continue to find snaps for.

If the Cowboys restructured Crawford’s contract, they could get a little over $3 million in cap savings this year. $3 million may not sound like a lot, but in combination with the other moves they could make with the cap, it can help. Every bit helps when constructing a roster. That money could go to paying for the 2019 draft class.

Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 18: Dak Prescott #4 and Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys celebrate after scoring a touchdown during the second quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at AT&T Stadium on December 18, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Grand Total

The Dallas Cowboys front office has a lot of decisions to make this offseason and several of them will be in the form of extensions for their own players. They’ll have to figure out a way to use the contracts to their advantage.

If they did everything that could be an option to them, they could create another $48.22 million in space in the salary cap. If they didn’t release any of the “unlikely releases,” they could still free up another $33.72 million by releasing Lee and Hurns and restructuring Smith, Martin, Frederick, and Crawford.

So, they’ll be going into the offseason with at least $48 million in cap space, but through a few moves could have as much as $81-$96.22 million in cap space when it’s all said and done.

None of this even accounts for the way the Cowboys could structure the contracts of Elliott, Dak, Cooper, Lawrence, and Byron Jones. With some smart salary structuring, they won’t necessarily have to eat much of their cap hits in year one of their new contracts.

Don’t worry Cowboys fans. The Cowboys will be able to create enough money to get the things done that they want to get done. If they don’t sign anyone of note in free agency or extend your favorite player, it won’t be because they couldn’t afford to.

It’ll be because they didn’t want to.



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