Ten Cowboys Players Possibly On The Draft Day Trading Block

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Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett celebrates a victory with linebacker Bruce Carter (54) against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 31-16. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Carter, Linebacker

Despite having the best statical season in his three year career as a member of the Cowboys in 2013, Carter is still considered by many to be an overall disappointment. A second round selection by Dallas in 2011, Carter spent most on his rookie year on the bench after suffering a devastating ACL injury late in his final season at the University of North Carolina. Some draft experts considered Carter a top-15 pick prior to the draft.

The Cowboys were rumored to have concerns about Carter’s abilities before his first full offseason in his sophomore year. Even so far as to have planned to draft Utah State linebacker Bobby Wagner in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. But the Cowboys ended up giving that pick away as part of the deal to acquire LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.

But those reservations about Carter’s abilities seemed to subside as he won the starting linebacker role in 2012. Unfortunately, an elbow injury in late November ended his second season prematurely. Last year, Carter recorded 96 combined tackles and 2.0 sacks in 15 games. And although he did an admirable job filling in for injured middle linebacker Sean Lee, Carter was benched two games last season due to his poor pass coverage skills.

But the good folks over at Pro Football Focus analyzed Carter’s season in 2013 and came up with some interesting information. The numbers indicate that as the season progressed, so did his coverage abilities. So much so that Carter’s coverage skills were actually his biggest positive trait in 2013.

The bigger eye opener was the revelation that Carter was one of the worst 4-3 outside linebackers against the run last season. Out of the 94 total 4-3 outside linebackers evaluated, there were only two other players worse against the run than Carter. Overall, PFF ranked Carter as the 90th best 4-3 outside linebacker in the league last season. But he ranked 32nd best out of those 4-3 linebackers who played 25% of the snaps or more. Yet, that 32nd ranking was out of a total of only 35 linebackers who did.

Now, the 26-year old is in the final year of his rookie contract, and will become a free agent in 2015. If the Cowboys had to make a decision today, despite claims by Dallas owner and general manager Jerry Jones that Carter can still be outstanding, I believe team officials would choose not to re-sign him. It’s for that reason I can see Dallas placing Carter on the trading block.

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  • PaulTX

    I doubt any of those guys will be traded. They are all key starters or backups on a team that already has a lot of holes. What you may have highlighted is positions that Dallas will not be drafting for.

    • maniac

      which is why they will stay 8-8 or worse. You pick people because they will best help your team improve, not because they cost you a lot of money. Take your lumps and move on – don’t lose more games the next season. Hope is not a very good strategy.

      • PaulTX

        You lost me.

  • Old Frog

    Wait a minute. The Cowboys didn’t know Escobar had no blocking skills until after they drafted him. Makes that pick even more ludicrous.

    • LandryHat

      More than likely they knew, but they probably hoped he’d develop quicker during the offseason than he did. With new tight end coach Mike Pope in town, I’m sure they’ll get him straightened out.

    • Maniac

      exactly – most of these problem moves would be strengths if this front office would have had talent at their position – talent evaluation and draft management. Giving up Brockers and Wagner for one overrated CB – that would have been the difference for a playoff spot last year. Escobar instead of Warford in last yr’s second – Warford with Fredbeard on the same line would be dominating strength.

      now hearing rumors our attention hungry GM could move up again for a DE that has never played the position and we will be looking at another step backward. This GM wasn’t even around the day before the draft because he had to rub shoulders with politicians – that explains the lack of communication. Come on, man!

  • David

    The only guys I can really see maybe getting traded is Carter or Hannah.

  • aerdna smailliw

    Hanna seems to have a higher ceiling than Escobar. Escobar’s only contribution is receiving. Hanna is a huge presence on special teams and he’s shown very good speed when he’s utilized.

  • SmartThinking

    I wish you’d name the team who would take Bernadeau as a straight up trade or wrapped up in a trade package. I’d make that trade this afternoon and pay for his airline tickets.

    Bernadeau is, easily, the worst player on this Dallas team’s offense followed closely by Leary. Between them, they’ve kept this offense from moving the ball forward on the ground or from opening more holes for Murray. Their pass blocking is, in my opinion, the main reason Romo hurries his throws and makes bad decisions just before getting crushed. Time and time again.

    Fixing the guard position on both sides of Frederick should be this team’s number one concern this upcoming draft day.

    • Guy Smith

      Looking at these players scares me when I think we Picked them in the Draft.. Man do we need a football man in here that can evaluate and develop talent. Mark my words, for the rest of this decade, we fans will be looking at those 8-8 seasons as our Glory Days.

      • Scott.

        They didn’t select either of these guys in the draft. Leary was an un drafted free agent that had a 3rd round grade but fell because of knee issues and Bordeaux was a free agent signing. If I’m not mistaken I think Carolina drafted him. The other son list mainly Claiborne should be traded if we can get any value..

      • SmartThinking

        It’s interesting you mention our last three 8-8 seasons as our glory days. Earlier this year when the teams Dallas will play in this upcoming 2014 season were announced, all it took was a quick glance at the competition for me to speculate that this Dallas team may go 5-11 or 6-10 against them. If it’s a stretch, Dallas may get to 8-8, which, as you noted, might be termed a glorious victory for this stunningly mediocre team.

  • Guy Smith

    I would Love to package either or Both Claiborne, Hannah or Escpbar for more picks, we would have to draft a corner later, but if we can get a first or a second and third (at least) think what we could do in this deep draft.

    • Scott.

      Agree with Claiborne, he’s had enough time to prove himself. Escobar, I think needs the benefit of doubt. He is stuck behing a hall of famer…