Cowboys ‘More Likely’ to Make NFL Deadline Trade?

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - The Nov. 3 trade deadline is approaching and given the 2-4 Dallas Cowboys’ present position - they are both a lousy team and a first-place team - it’s a challenge to even determine whether they should be a buyer or a seller.

Owner Jerry Jones and his front office have a recent track record of being a buyer in order to push an underperforming group upward; the 2018 swap of a first-round pick for Amari Cooper accomplished that.

In Jerry’s Friday visit with 105.3 The Fan, he hinted at which way he leans.

"More likely to add'' than not, he said, adding when asked about certain needs, "Specifically no. Generally, eyes wide open."

That sounds like a definite “maybe.”

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In terms of true deadline deals, in the last five years, Dallas has made just one other, and it goes down in the books at “minor”: Last October the Cowboys sent a conditional seventh/sixth pick to New England for Michael Bennett.

The traditional Jones family optimism is in play here; as COO Stephen Jones recently said this week,. “There’s a lot of football left to be played. We’re in a division that, as a group, is not winning a lot of football games right now. We’re still in the mix.”

But what are they “in the mix” for? A Super Bowl? It would require a wild level of optimism too harbor that belief.

That reality is why an idea of bidding on defensive tackle Quinnen Williams of the Jets has merit. The No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft has lots of mileage left on his contract, so giving up, say, a second-round pick in trade wouldn’t just be gambling on 2020; the former Alabama would have a long-term home here 

But those opportunities seem few and far between.

So what about coming to the realization of reality and being a seller? There are also problems there.

Without bogging down into all the cap-related minutiae: Which teams want to acquire high-priced guys who aren’t playing especially well? Which NFL team wants to give up picks and pay DeMarcus Lawrence or Amari Cooper their $20 million annually? How about paying an injured Tyron Smith his? How about paying a struggling Ezekiel Elliott his ? Is Tyrone Crawford are there are you at? Is Jaylon Smith a value add?

The Cowboys, cap-wise, have largely made their 2020-and-beyond bed. Jones specifically downplayed the idea of training for a highly-paid tackle because even though starters Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are gone for the rest of the season, they're not gone from the payroll or from the club's future plans. Dallas could use safety help, but doesn't seem to wish to admit it. And defensive tackle is a problem area with Gerald McCoy and Trysten Hill out for the year and with Dontari Poe.

The Quinnen Williams idea has merit. Ex Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins, now with the Raiders, is a gossip item. But beyond that? "Eyes wide open'' is a wise approach ... we just doubt that in terms of truly game-changing acquisitions, the Cowboys' eyes aren't going to like what they see

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