Over the past couple of years, there has been one consistent glaring hole for the Dallas Cowboys. Well, there have been a few, but one of the biggest has been the play of their secondary. At the cornerback position especially, Dallas has needed a legitimate No. 1 lockdown corner to cover opposing top wide receivers.
With the 2021 NFL season right around the corner and training camp in full swing, a blockbuster trade seems unlikely - indeed, in this space, our Mike Fisher has walked us through various ideas and the Cowboys' steadfast position on the ideas. (See Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins as the latest example. Oh, and for another reason, on the Jacksonville Jaguars' C.J. Henderson, see Fish details here.)
But maybe leading up to the NFL trade deadline, there is an increased chance for a big move - if the Cowboys at that time view themselves as Super Bowl contenders.
New England Patriots star cornerback Stephon Gilmore has been the subject of rumors - trade- and contract-related. Along with the rumors comes cold analysis: Gilmore is coming off of a 2020 NFL season that saw him put up much lower numbers than 2019. He racked up 37 total tackles to go along with a forced fumble, an interception, and just three defended passes.
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"It will be good to get a break," Ezekiel Elliott says.
But back in 2019, he totaled 53 tackles, a fumble recovery, six interceptions, two defensive touchdowns, and 20 defended passes.
Is he, at 30, still that player - an NFL Defensive Player of the Year-level performer? If so, there is no question that he would be worth a second or third-round pick. ... to the right team.
Putting aside the contract thing, if the Cowboys were able to pull off a big deal to land Gilmore, their secondary would take an immediate step forward. Even if he is starting to fall off a bit, he would still be an upgrade at the No. 1 cornerback position. No disrespect to Trevon Diggs and the young group Dallas is building ... but they can only dream of someday being what Gilmore is.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a reputation for wanting to make the "flashy move,'' dating way, way back to when Dallas traded for Charles Haley, who Jones always cites as the guy who put the Cowboys over the Super Bowl top.
But this concept wouldn't be about "flash.'' It would be Haley-like in another way: It would be a Super Bowl move.