Cowboys Veterans on the Trading Block?

By: Joe D.

According to an article by Clarence Hill, Jr., teams have contacted the Cowboys about veteran players.  Teams will generally do their due diligence to find out if Tony Romo could be had for a 5th round pick.  Obviously not.  It begs the question, what veterans may be sent to a new home if a reasonable offer is placed on the table?

Marion Barber has been previously discussed.  If Cowboys wanted to move up in the draft, they would trade him to along with their first round pick.  Alone, Barber has limited value, 4th or 5th round pick.  The biggest reason I don’t see Barber being moved is the exact same reason we would consider trading him.  This draft is filled with talented and speedy running backs.  A running back with starter potential will be available in the mid to late rounds.  If the Cowboys gamble on a RB in the 4th round, the risk is minimized considering the remaining tandem of Choice and Jones.

Marc Colombo is an unlikely option.  If a top to very good LT falls to the Cowboys in the first (or the Cowboys move up to get a Bulaga or Williams) Colombo may become expendable.  Free played at  a very high level last year at right tackle with virtually no drop off from Colombo.  While Colombo recently signed an extension ($22 million, with $11.5 million guaranteed, through the 2012 season), as there are no cap implications, Colombo may find himself in a new uniform next year. 

Martellus Bennett is also an unlikely option (but not impossible).  We are aware that there was a market for Bennett who has mostly underperformed during his two years in Dallas.  Jerry Jones indicated during the 2009 season that a FIRST DAY draft pick was offered for Bennett.  The offer was rumored to have come from the Bengals.  I would be surprised about two things.  First, that Bennett’s value is still that high based upon his 2009 performance.  Secondly, I would be even more surprised if Jerry was accurate that a team offered a 1st round pick for Bennett.  Historically a first day pick was a 1st through 3rd; last year a first day pick was either a first or a second; this year a first day pick is only a first round pick.  I’m inclined to believe that a team offered a 2nd round pick and Jones simply had a senior moment and forgot about the change in draft format.  The play of John Phillips last year makes Bennett expendable, though a 3rd TE will have to be drafted.

Bobby Carpenter is a definite possibility.  The Cowboys drafted a multitude of athletic speedy middle/outside linebackers  in 2009 who could easily be projected into playing the nickel LB position.  Carpenter is still believed to be capable of playing effectively in a 4-3 system, though that may simply been conjecture.  Carpenter is a restricted free agent and it may be tempting to get a 4th or 5th round pick for a player who is not projected to be on the team in 2011.

Patrick Crayton may be expendable due to the emergence of Kevin Ogletree.  While Crayton isn’t the veteran WR most Cowboys fans wish to be kicked out of Dallas, Crayton is productive and is a young 31.  Crayton still has some tread left on his tires.  Crayton is often characterized as having the best hands on the team.  I would be dismayed to see Crayton traded for a 6th or 7th round pick, but it would be excellent return on investment for the Cowboys considering he was originally a 7th round pick.

Marcus Spears, like Carpenter, is a restricted free agent and may not be a Cowboys in 2011.  Spears has played exceptionally well as a run stuffer while in Dallas, though he does not rack up sacks and is consequently under-appreciated.  I would love to see Spears resigned to an extension (possibly four years), but it may not come to fruition.  If the Cowboys selected a run stuffer like Jared Odrick or Terrence Cody in the first or second round, Spears’s leverage for a long-term deal is caput. 

When shuffling personnel, one player can make the difference, e.g. Keith Brooking.  I do not expect wholesale changes to the Cowboys in 2010, but certainly the aforementioned seem to be the likely suspects.

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Tags: Bobby Carpenter Brian Bulaga Dallas Cowboys Felx Jones Jared Odrick John Phillips Keith Brooking Kevin Ogletree Marc Colombo Marcus Spears Marion Barber Martellus Bennet Patrick Crayton Tashard Choice Terrence Cody Tony Romo Trent Williams

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