The NFL isn’t a very active trading league. Unlike the NBA, MLB, and even NHL, professional football teams are blatantly apprehensive to trade players. Partially because of tradition, the salary cap structure, and a dash of atychiphobia, NFL teams like the Dallas Cowboys are adverse to trading away players, unless a no-brainer return is on the table.
As the NFL trade deadline approaches (November 1), some players are very publicly sitting on the trade block. Their current teams are hoping and praying for a no-brainer return and willing to take it to the deadline to see if they can.
While mid-level trades are expected (involving mid-round draft picks), blockbuster trades are far from assured. Christian McCaffrey was a bona fide blockbuster that went down last week. His star status combined with the gargantuan return (which has been estimated at a combined value of an early first rounder) could be the only big trade we see this year.
Jerry Jones, famous for saying purposely nothing, might have let the Dallas Cowboys interest in a top cornerback slip out.
The Dallas Cowboys have a handful of well-documented needs right now. Their offensive line is poor in pass protection and could, at the very least, use some proven depth. Unfortunately, everyone needs O-linemen this time of year.
Receiver has also been an issue. Michael Gallup is fresh off a knee injury and may not be 100 percent all year. CeeDee Lamb is good but struggling to be any more than a mid-tier WR1. And Noah Brown is a WR4 playing a WR3 role. The Cowboys could use an injection of speed in their higher ranks.
Defensive tackle is also a need. While the Dallas Cowboys are loaded with pass rushers and rotational guys, they lack a true run-plugger to ease the burden placed on Quinton Bohanna. They recently bumped Neville Gallimore from the active list so they could have Carlos Watkins in the rotation (Watkins being the better run stuffer).
But a third need may be flying under the radar and Jerry might have let it slip…
Now, I admit, this is reading between the lines to a significant degree, but Jerry brought up an example that pointed towards two things:
- elite player status
- the cornerback position
The Dallas Cowboys are low-key in need at the CB position. After years of strong and chronically underrated play, Anthony Brown has been struggling in 2022. I say this as one of his biggest supporters over the years so it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even PFF, one of his biggest advocates each year, has him rated as the 55th CB right now.
The CB room also just lost Jourdan Lewis, the starting inside CB. The team is excited about what DaRon Bland can offer but they become dangerously thin now. A low tier CB will just be a progress stopper for Bland (or Kelvin Joseph) and may not be any better, when all is said and done. But an elite CB would be a clear upgrade and not come with the feeling of futility as a guy who you might not need anyway.
Was the name “Deion Sanders” just an example of a giant trade? I don’t think so, because he wasn’t a trade for the Dallas Cowboys. They signed him as free agent. He only symbolizes an addition, a position, and/or a level of quality.
It’s also worth bringing up the last noteworthy time the Cowboys made a trade at the deadline it was for an elite player at a position of need (Amari Cooper). The idea of the Cowboys swinging big isn’t far fetched in the least.
Will the Cowboys make a trade at the deadline? Hopefully, we’ve seen the window open wide in the NFC so they’d be negligent not to do all they could to take advantage. But at the same time it takes two to tango and “at all costs” is not something any of us advocate for.
Let’s see how this week plays out…