It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys certainly have Cowboys Nation wondering what they’re going to do at defensive end. Demarcus Lawrence is currently the only defensive end under contract who tallied a sack for us last season.
Greg Hardy and Jeremy Mincey haven’t been re-signed, and Randy Gregory was unable to record a sack through seven games. I wouldn’t be as fearful if we had gone out and re-signed Jack Crawford as a nice rotational player who can arguably play any spot along our line. But that’s not the case, at least not yet.
So what do we do?
Well, free agency never ends. Literally. You can pick up a player for your team and sign them at any point throughout the year. Having said that, the best guys are usually signed, oh, about a week and a half ago. So there isn’t exactly a “cream of the crop” left for us to get.
So let’s say we signed Jack Crawford, and he’s in line to start the first 4 games of the season, and likely more than that, as your right defensive end. After what most would deem a breakout season, Demarcus Lawrence looks to continue his ascent to the top of the league’s left defensive end rankings. Tyrone Crawford is your starting 3-technique, and newly signed DT Cedric Thornton serves to replace Nick Hayden at 1-tech.
You feeling good about that?
Eh. Me either. Especilly since Rod Marinelli likes to rotate his guys, and those four players won’t be on the field 100% of the time.
With Romo’s window closing, you could argue that the Cowboys are in “win now” mode. What does that mean? Well, ask the Broncos, who were just in a similar situation with Peyton Manning. What did they do? They sold everything and the kitchen sink for the best free agency haul they could get over the past few seasons.
Well, Jerry and Stephen Jones aren’t going to go down that road, and they’ve demonstrated that thus far this offseason.
That brings me to another option.
Let me set the stage for you. The first three picks of the draft go:
|Jalen Ramsey||Carson Wentz||Laremy Tunsil|
Dallas is sitting on the clock with names like Ezekiel Elliott, Jared Goff, Joey Bosa, DeForest Buckner, and Myles Jack still on the board. Jeff Fisher and Les Snead just made the move to the ever-shiny football market that is Los Angeles.
They’re looking for jersey and ticket sales, similar to what they got when they drafted Sam Bradford out of Oklahoma. Throughout the first 3 picks, especially with Cleveland at 2, they’ve breathed a sigh of relief as their number one player, Jared Goff, has remained in the green room.
They pick up with phone and dial that Irving, Texas area code and hear Stephen Jones pick up the phone. Snead asks Stephen, “We’re looking to move up to get our guy. We just took a look at our roster, and feel comortable that, with your defensive end needs, we’d be willing to part ways with Robert Quinn for this pick, AND next year’s first rounder.”
Now, Stephen says, “Let me talk to one of my NFC West scouts real quick, Les. Give me a minute.”
The scout, along with Will McClay, comes over and Stephen asks them, “What does this guy’s production and projected fit look like?”
Well, he was arguably the league’s best pass rusher in 2013, but has since regressed, tallying “only” 10.5 sacks in 2014, and slipped down to 5 last season, but only appeared in 8 games. Having said that, he signed an extremely team friendly deal. If we wanted to cut him after this season, we’d only be looking at a little over a million dollars in dead money, while saving just shy of $9 million. So, we wouldn’t be tied to him long term if he didn’t work out.
If you’re trading two first rounders for a guy, you’re going to keep him for longer than a year.
“I don’t like the idea of two first rounders” says the scout. “See if you can counter with next year’s third. I’d like that a lot more.”
Stephan hops back on the phone and after a bit of back and forth, the Rams agree to trade Robert Quinn to the Cowboys for our first round pick this year, and our third round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Cowboys are never in any mood to “pull a Redskin” and mortgage our future for one guy, especially a guy who’s already on his second contract. This is a guy who would be an eight-figure cap hit on a line that’s got Randy Gregory waiting in the wings. Only problem is, #94 hasn’t showed that he can stay out of trouble, so do we really have faith in him to one day be our right end?
So let me ask you, Cowboys Nation.
Would you trade this year’s 4th overall pick, and next year’s third rounder to the Los Angeles Rams for Robert Quinn?
Poll: Would you make this trade? (Read article for details – https://t.co/caRIM45Nyh)