Dallas Cowboys wanted to make trade but didn’t. Mistake?

(Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys aren’t dummies. They know they’re fortunate to be standing 6-2 right now. They know they have weaknesses that need to be fixed so they can maximize their challenger status in the playoffs. They know the teams that were expected to be dominant this season aren’t, and the NFC is there for the taking.

As the NFL Trade Deadline approached Tuesday, they also knew options would be available to upgrade at a handful of positions – positions that were fairly suspect, like receiver and cornerback.

The Dallas Cowboys admitted their needs and showed interest, but quite predictably, couldn’t agree on issues of compensation.

In the days leading up to the deadline, the Dallas Cowboys said all the right things. Jerry even expressed his confidence in his WR corps when it was fully healthy. He pointed at the three tight end sets Kellen Moore deployed heavily on Sunday and how well that worked.

He even took the perfect negotiation position saying…

"“We don’t have to do anything,” Jones said. ” but, if it’s right, we’ll do something.”"

In other words, we aren’t desperate, but we’re interested. Call me, just know that I will not get fleeced and would rather do nothing than lose in negotiation.

Later they said they have been taking calls. They said they “got some things they were entertaining.” This tells us they saw upgrades on the table. Ways to get better. To the surprise of no one, the only hang up was about compensation.

Jones even said things could get “feverish.” Feverish is defined as “displaying a frenetic excitement or energy,” indicating this wasn’t just about a sweet deal falling into their laps, it was about something that could improve their team enough to cause excitement for the 80-year-old oil man.

The idea that Jerry Jones saw the Dallas Cowboys as a finished product, is categorically false. Again, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t dumb – they’re frugal. They saw upgrades, upgrades that excited them. But they came at a cost they were unwilling to spend, so they declined.

Cost-benefit analysis is something we all do on a daily basis. I know I should get that gym membership and buy my produce from the organic farmers market, but I weighed the costs of a healthy lifestyle and said, nawwww. Just like the Dallas Cowboys, I could be better but I’m good with being just good.

What we can’t say is that standing pat at the deadline was the plan all along or the Dallas Cowboys did all they could to seize the current opportunity. Remember, they were actively looking to upgrade to the point they predicted “feverish” situations.

Did the Dallas Cowboys lose at the deadline by not getting the upgrades they so desired?


Could the Dallas Cowboys have lost worse by overpaying for just a modest upgrade?


Am I walking the fence on my verdict?

Probably. But sometimes the pathway to failure doesn’t have an alternate route and once you’re on it, you’re on it. The Dallas Cowboys may have been in a no-win situation. Their failure was in the offseason and acting now might only have made things worse.

In regards to deep speed, the Dallas Cowboys have a bottom-five WR corps. That problem isn’t going away with the addition of James Washington or development of Jalen Tolbert.

this wasn’t just about a sweet deal falling into their laps, it was about something that could improve their team enough to cause excitement

It’s a problem in which the Dallas Cowboys are ultimately to blame for after scuttling their WR corps in the offseason and doing next to nothing to replace it. They saw the need heading into the draft, which is why they used their 30-visits on so many first round WRs (second-most scouted, behind OL). But when their WR board got washed in the draft, they kicked the can on their WR problem down the block. And unless they sign a certain free agent off the street this year (which may or may not be a good move), it’s a problem that will get pushed until next offseason.

Looking around the NFL, most of the top teams did something to improve. The Dallas Cowboys wanted to do something but ultimately didn’t want to spend to make it happen.

Can the Cowboys win with the roster they have? Certainly. Would it have been better if they improved their roster anyway? Certainly.

Teams load up so they can reduce the margin for error and impact of inevitable injuries. As long as Dallas Cowboys stay healthy and everyone plays up to expectations, they can compete with everyone. I’m positive of that. I just don’t feel comfortable banking on everything going right when we know Murphy’s Law has a way of finding the Cowboys every winter.

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I’m not sure the Dallas Cowboys made a mistake by not trading for someone like Brandin Cooks at the deadline. I think they made a mistake in the offseason which put them in this very predictable situation in the first place.