The Dallas Cowboys traded a Day 3 draft pick to the New England Patriots for defensive lineman Michael Bennett – and it’s a thing of beauty
Welp, the Dallas Cowboys did it again. They pulled off a bye week trade hoping to bolster their roster by getting more out of a player than what he was previously offering. And a simple cost-benefit analysis tells us Michael Bennett is the perfect bye week addition.
Compared to last season, this trade looks minor league. But don’t let the small investment or bust potential cloud the fact that this could be a very significant move for the Dallas Cowboys.
With Tyrone Crawford‘s season (and possibly Cowboys career) over, the Dallas Cowboys were in the market for a pass-rushing defensive lineman with some position flex. Michael Bennett is just that. The inside-outside rusher has a history of working across the line in a 1-gap role. Best of all – he has considerable success.
Rod Marinelli’s linemen, dubbed “rushmen”, are hyper aggressive 1-gap penetrators who rely on explosiveness and stunting to create plays in the backfield. It’s all about creating pressure with the front four without having to rely on extra blitzers.
This season the Dallas Cowboys were having trouble creating pressure with their front four (see also Sam Darnold‘s career day). To correct the issue last week, they were forced to do something a little uncharacteristic – blitz.
Against the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas blitzed 60% of the time on first down throughout the first half. While this did a wonderful job of creating pressure, it also provided more opportunities downfield since less players were in coverage (luckily the coverage was strong and Carson Wentz couldn’t capitalize).
Adding a proven pass-rusher in Bennett fixes that vulnerability. Having a interior pass-rusher capable of beating single blocks, lets the Dallas Cowboys keep more players in coverage (because they’re blitzing less).Trading for Bennett is something I happened to suggest earlier in the week too: 3 trade targets from the AFC East the Cowboys should consider
So, are we over estimating the impact the 33-year-old Bennett can make at this point in his career?
I don’t think we are overestimating. Michael Bennett is still a productive player in the NFL. In 130 snaps this season, he’s collected 2.5 sacks, 4 hits, and 3 tackles for loss all playing disgruntled and out of position. Just last season the motivated Bennett racked up 9 sacks, 15 tackles for loss, and 30 QB hits.
Pro Football Focus gave him a 76.2 score which would rank him 26 in the NFL this season. Think the Dallas Cowboys could use an extra top-26 interior lineman in their rotation this year?
Our homies over at the Philadelphia FanSided site, Section 215, called him, “the ultimate low-risk, high reward acquisition” for the Cowboys.
Now, Michael Bennett comes with some baggage. The Bennett brothers are known for a certain level of crazy and Bennett seems to be getting more prickly with age. But if the Dallas Cowboys can focus that crazy they may be able to get a highly motivated player out of this. At the very least, we all know Bennett will be balling when Dallas meets New England later in the season.
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As a one-year low-cost rental, Bennett offers very little risk and a pretty good amount of reward. Rookie Trysten Hill has struggled rotating with Maliek Collins at the 3-tech, replacing Hill with Bennett would be a significant upgrade. Remember, Collins was recently named one of the NFL’s top pass-rushers this season.
Trading for Michael Bennett is a thing of beauty considering what the Cowboys had to give up and what Bennett has to potentially offer. A pass-rush (NASCAR) package of Tank-Collins-Bennett-Quinn sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?
- Published on 10/25/2019 at 11:00 AM
- Last updated at 10/26/2019 at 06:26 AM