The Dallas Cowboys pulled off a last minute trade to bring in former Chiefs offensive lineman, Parker Ehinger. Here’s what he brings to the table…
The Dallas Cowboys made it known last week they were looking to upgrade their offensive line depth. With starting center Travis Frederick sidelined indefinitely, their lone proven interior backup, Joe Looney, has been pushed into starting duty. And with just Kadeem Edwards waiting behind Looney, the primary thing he leaves behind is concern.
So last night the Dallas Cowboys traded from a strength in order to help a weakness. Cornerback, considered one of the stronger units on the team, had talent to spare deep in its ranks. Undrafted free agent cornerback, Charvarius Ward, was facing long odds in his quest for a roster spot. Unless Dallas was going to go uncharacteristically deep at CB, Ward was likely to be a cut on Saturday.
But in an effort to get something from nothing, Dallas looked to Kansas City. Offensive lineman Parker Ehinger, a former fourth round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, had fallen out of favor in Kansas City. A possible Saturday casualty himself, he offers depth (albeit tempered expectations) for a unit in Dallas that’s desperately thin.
Who won the trade?
It’s important to point out, while both players in this trade were struggling to make their respective teams, neither player is a bum. Ward and Ehinger both offer value in this league – they just offered more value to their new teams than they offered their old teams.
From the Dallas Cowboys perspective, anytime you can turn an undrafted free agent into a former midlevel draft pick, you have to feel good about your side of things. In fact, up until the latter portion of training camp, Ehinger had a legitimate chance to lock down a starting spot on the KC offensive line.
Obviously we know that didn’t work out for him since he’s now residing in “the 214”, but he was at least in the conversation. Which is more than we can say about anyone currently on the Dallas Cowboys depth chart.
As of today it appears both teams won this trade. Each took a known commodity that didn’t figure into their future plans, and turned it into an unknown commodity at position that may actually offer a future.
So what can we expect from Parker Ehinger this season?
Proven depth. As a rookie, Parker started four games earning a respectable 68.3 rating from Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which happens to be a higher rating than any of Dallas’ interior depth earned – including Joe Looney.
Sadly, Ehinger tore his ACL, ending his rookie campaign, and impacting his ability to reclaim that role in 2017. After falling behind the competition in camp this year, Parker was moved around from second team guard to second team left tackle, eventually becoming expendable should the right offer come around.
While Parker Ehinger may not be 100 percent back from his pre-injury form, he still has the makeup that once made him a fourth round pick only two seasons ago.
Standing 6’6”, Ehinger is not your typical guard. Much like all of the Dallas Cowboys linemen, Ehinger is a converted college tackle. With only 33” inch arm length and below average athleticism, he’s not going to be kicking outside again any time soon. But he’s a smart player with NFL experience that can fill in on the interior if you need him to.
Ehinger rates much better as a run-blocker than a pass-protector, but it’s worth noting he’s strong at both blitz pick-up as well as handling stunts and games. How he fits the Dallas Cowboys new power scheme remains to be seen (requires pulling and blocking on the run) but he appears to be equipped to temporarily hold down the fort.
Parker Ehinger isn’t the kind of addition that should excite you but he’s a smart pickup at a position of need – all for the low, low cost of virtually nothing. What’s not to like about that?
Considering the positions in which they play, the Dallas Cowboys are better today with Parker Ehinger than they were yesterday with Charvarius Ward. And that’s the key thing to take away from this trade.
- Published on 08/31/2018 at 12:01 PM
- Last updated at 08/31/2018 at 12:32 PM