We ponder whether the Dallas Cowboys would be better off trading the 28th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft for Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
After starting cornerbacks Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne both signed elsewhere during free agency this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys defensive secondary leapfrogged pass rusher as the team’s biggest need heading into the NFL Draft.
Throw in the fact the Cowboys also lost starting strong safety Barry Church to free agency as well, and I wouldn’t be surprised if owner and general manager Jerry Jones himself hung a help wanted sign outside of The Star in Frisco.
Dallas did sign free agent veteran corner Nolan Carroll to lessen the blow of their departures. But the Cowboys front office is now in the very difficult position of trying to make starter-caliber players out of rookies. Although they did find four starters last season in quarterback Dak Prescott, running back Ezekiel Elliott, defensive tackle Maliek Collins and cornerback Anthony Brown.
In fact, Brown’s surprising play and growth after being a sixth round selection last season is one of the reasons why Dallas hasn’t hit the panic button when it comes to filling the position in free agency. And this upcoming draft class is said to be deep at the exact positions the Cowboys need to fill: cornerback, safety and defensive end.
Despite the success of last year’s draft class in Dallas, rookies are often notoriously bad starters for the simple fact they have so much to learn. And the cornerback position is especially difficult to conquer for first year players, although there are always exceptions.
Possessing the 28th overall selection, there should be a plethora of potential starting cornerbacks to choose from. And since Dallas already has Brown, Carroll and veteran Orlando Scandrick on the roster, slowly bringing up a rookie at the cornerback position may be possible.
But what if the Cowboys decide to hedge their bets? What if they can add a quality veteran cornerback to the roster using their first round selection in a trade instead, and then find themselves a late round prospect to develop alongside him? Would Jones and the Cowboys front office pull that trigger?
"“The Cowboys are likely to be competing with the Seahawks atop the NFC this season and in years to come, and Sherman would be a major upgrade at Dallas’ weakest position,” wrote Barnwell recently. “If the Seahawks are committed to removing Sherman from their locker room, though, the Cowboys are likely to be interested…The Cowboys also could offer Sherman an extension that would begin next season, as the cornerback enters the final year of his deal, and Tony Romo‘s massive cap charge comes off the books.”"
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Barnwell went on to explain how the Cowboys could find the $11.431 million to pay Sherman’s salary this season by converting part of wide receiver Dez Bryant‘s scheduled $13 million paycheck into a signing bonus.
Dallas will not be granted the $14 million of cap space relief as a result of quarterback Tony Romo’s recent retirement until after June 1st. And a majority of those monies are expected to help secure the Cowboys rookie class and extend the contract of All-Pro guard Zack Martin.
As for Sherman, he is one of the best players at his position. He recently turned 29-years old and is under contract through 2018. Last season, Sherman recorded 58 tackles, 13 pass defends and had four interceptions.
The former fifth round selection out of Stanford in 2011 hasn’t missed a single game in his six-year career. Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowler, was named NFC Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and he’s a Super Bowl Champion (XLVIII).
Would adding a four time All-Pro like Sherman to the Cowboys roster bolster their secondary? Absolutely. Would he be an instant upgrade over any cornerback Dallas could select with the 28th overall selection? Absolutely. Would the Cowboys make such a trade? Probably not.
The Cowboys front office’s motto for several seasons now has been to pursue youth plus potential over high-priced veterans. Although Sherman would be an instant upgrade, his age, price tag and strong personality would likely all be major obstacles to making any sort of trade that would move him south to Dallas. The Cowboys are simply neck deep in a youth movement. Making a blockbuster trade for a player like Sherman would run counter-culture to that movement.