Cowboys Trades that Won’t Happen, but Should…


By: Joe D.

The NFL is allergic to trades.  A brief look at the Cowboys recent history will clarify why.  In 2000, Dallas traded 2 first round draft picks to Seattle for Joey Galloway.  The Cowboys were looking to replace Michael Irvin and regain their offensive swagger.  Aikman and Galloway were injured that season and a long run of mediocre quarterback play followed.  Galloway’s tenure in Dallas is mostly considered a failure considering the two lost draft picks contributed to extending a painful rebuilding effort.  In 2008, a trade for Adam Jones for a 4th round draft pick was widely publicized.  While the risk v. reward was reasonable, the outcome of Jones getting suspended in 2008 and subsequently released further embarrassed a proud franchise.  Again in 2008, the Cowboys sent a 1st and 3rd round pick to the Detroit Lions for Roy Williams.  He has underperformed the value of the draft pics and his contract extension.  Aside from being Super Bowl MVP, Williams may never redeem himself in the eyes of some Cowboys fans.  Considering the above track record, the general manager would be shown the door.  Bad trades more often than bad draft picks get GM’s fired.  Not in Dallas.

What’s the common thread in the above trades?  The Dallas Cowboys were buyers and not sellers.  The greatest trade in Cowboys history was the Herchel Walker trade to the Vikings for a bevy of picks and players.  This allowed for the resurgence of the franchise in the 90’s.

Beware of believing in the draft.  Players like Ryan Leaf, Andre Wadsworth, Charles Rogers, Mike Williams, etc. never live up to their expectations.  The Baltimore Ravens are arguably the best franchise in the past decade choosing players in the first round, and they even missed on Kyle Boller.

The Patriots of done an amazing job of coaching up players, and then trading them when they have an inflated value on the market.  Deion Branch and Richard Seymour were closer to the end of their careers than the beginning when they were trade for first round picks.  While Seymour wasn’t entirely the product of the Patriots system, he certainly won’t continue to have as much longevity as a rookie in 2011 entering the league.

And so that brings us to the Dallas Cowboys.  The team is constituted with a large number of young players.  The older players on the team are mostly along the offensive line.  There is very little trade value for Flozell Adams, 34, or Marc Colombo, 31.  At best, a team in need may offer a 4th round draft pick as a stop gap measure.  Keith Brooking, 34, has limited trade value and will not being changing team colors either.

Recently the Cowboys have been suggested as a possible trading partner with San Diego.  Antonio Cromartie for Tashard Choice.  Wade Phillips coached Cromartie during his rookie year with San Diego.  Reports indicate Cromartie has a questionable worth ethic and suspect practice habits.  Perfect for the Cowboys you say?  Hold on.  The Cowboys should engage in a trade with the Chargers, but rather sending Choice, Marion Barber should be given the one way ticket.

Barber will be 27 years old at the start of the 2010 season, and that is an old 27.  While 30 years old is the normal line of demarcation for a productive running back, Barber’s style has lead to injuries and he had proven in individual games as well as over the course of a season, that he is unable to handle the duties of a 20 to 30 carry a game back.  Additionally, he has never been fast, but he appears to not hit the hole with the same quickness and ferocity as in previous years.  Maybe the Chargers have no interest in this fading dinged back, but if they did…

The Cowboys should rely on Phillips to make the call on whether the rumors about Cromartie are justified.  If they are, engage in a three team trade with a team like Green Bay who are in need of a talent upgrade in their secondary.  The Cowboys, in my estimation, should be able to receive a 2nd round draft pick in the deal.  Even if the pick is a third rounder, it is still value for a player on the downside of his career.

Alternately, if Wade believes the rumors are unfounded, the Cowboys would have a glut of talent at CB.  I would wholly suggest trading Terrence Newman, 31, to the Packers and keeping Cromartie, 26.  Yes Newman signed a contract extension 2 years prior, and Cromartie would be due a new costly contract, but in 5 years, who will still be in the league?  Newman has never evolved into a shutdown corner.  While Cromartie is unlikely to improve over his past performance with the Chargers, it is conceivable that he would be able to duplicate, if not better, Newman’s sometimes uneven performance.

This is all conjecture, and it is likely that the Cowboys have zero trades leading up to the draft.  At some point, the Cowboys have to cut ties with older players and coldly trade them to other teams for draft picks.  It’s a system that works in the salary cap era, trade high salaried players for draft picks who earn substantially less.  In the 2010 uncapped year, the strategy may change in how the game is played off the field, but aging veterans in exchange for young talented players will always be en vogue.