Dallas Cowboys’ Stephen Jones: A trade might pop up

Jul 29, 2016, Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones at press conference at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2016, Oxnard, CA, USA; Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones at press conference at the River Ridge Fields. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones says the team has the salary cap space in case a possible trade pops up sometime this offseason.

Earlier this offseason, Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones publicly proclaimed the need for his team to find a proper war daddy. In his own colorful way, Jones was referring to a premier pass rusher, something this Cowboys team has been without since releasing defensive end DeMarcus Ware back in early 2014.

As has become the norm in Dallas, the Cowboys brass did little to nothing during free agency, opting to use the draft to build their roster instead. But possessing the 28th overall selection, the team had to settle for Michigan defensive end Taco Charlton, a player whom they didn’t even have a first round grade for.

Although Charlton may develop into the premier pass rusher Dallas so desperately needs, it’s unlikely the Cowboys will even use him in that way during his rookie season. Instead, Dallas appears to be set to make Taco simply another cog in the rotation of their heavy substitution-based defense.

So, as of today, it does not appear the Cowboys have found their instant war daddy. With the draft concluded, and the unlikely chances of a premier pass rusher hitting the free agent market, it appears Dallas will simply have to play the cards they’ve been dealt.

But there is one other avenue in which the Cowboys may be able to find that defensive game changer. That’s via a trade. And according to Stephen Jones, Dallas’ executive vice president and director of player personnel, it’s a possibility.

"“On June 2, an extra $5 million will hit the Cowboys’ cap thanks to the Tony Romo release,” wrote Nick Eatman, Staff Writer for DallasCowboys.com. “While a lot of that money will be used to fill out the 53-man roster, sign the practice squad and compensate for injury settlements and future signings, [Stephen] Jones said it frees them up to be sign or trade for a veteran if needed. ‘I will say this, we’re not strapped to the point where we couldn’t do something. You never know when a trade might pop up.’"

Obviously, this statement by the junior Jones is simply leaving the door open to the possibility of a trade. And not necessarily saying they are actively pursuing them. Although it was rumored the Cowboys were wanting to move veteran cornerback Orlando Scandrick during the draft. And back-up running back Alfred Morris was also reportedly on the trading block earlier this year.

The takeaway from this quote by Jones should be the fact the Cowboys will not let their salary cap situation dissuade them from making a trade. So, let’s presume that Dallas is still in the market for a premier pass rusher. Where might they find one?

For quite sometime, the New York Jets have had former 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson on the trading block. But issues both on and off-the-field make him an unlikely trade target in Dallas, unless the price tag was incredibly low.

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The Dallas Cowboys best bet for landing a pass rusher via trade are probably with teams whom have just added a similar player in the draft. Teams like the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers all used first round draft picks on edge rushers last month. In order to make room on their rosters for those talented prospects, these teams may be more willing than others to part ways with a quality veteran.