How many players on the current Dallas Cowboys roster could be potential trade candidates come cutdown time at this year’s training camp?
I really got into watching and understanding the Dallas Cowboys right before Hall of Fame coach Jimmy Johnson was hired here in Dallas. Trades became the norm for this team but what Johnson was doing was getting rid of the old and unknown and replacing them with guys he wanted.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone if the new coaching staff wanted to trade away players that they don’t want or need so I came up with a few players that could be wearing a different jersey this upcoming season.
Kicker Kai Forbath is the first name that comes to mind. He played exceptionally well down the stretch for the Cowboys going 10 for 10 on all of his attempts. In a league that is always searching for able kickers, Forbath sounds like he is going to net the Cowboys a day three selection when this is all said and done.
With the addition of kicker Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein, Forbath is expendable but I would not rule out the Dallas cowboys carrying two kickers this year. An injury to Zuerlein would put the Cowboys in a position where they would be looking for kicking help themselves.
The team that makes the most sense is the Chicago Bears. A trade within the same conference is not ideal but Chicago has had its share of blunders at the kicking position lately that make this an obvious trade partner if it continues to hinder them.
Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie had a rough year last year and I think he will be able to bounce back. The problem with Chido is that he is a starting cornerback that could ask for an inflated salary that the team might balk at. Forgotten cornerback Anthony Brown just signed a three-year deal certainly could alleviate an Awuzie departure.
Allowing him to test free agency might be in the cards, especially if he has a good year and outprices himself. If he has another down year, the Cowboys could let him walk away without any compensation. The best plan of action might be to trade him while he still carries the starting cornerback title to his name.
Obvious trade partners include the New England Patriots who covet versatile defenders that have high football IQ’s or the Carolina Panthers who ranked 31st in pass defense last year. Gaining an extra 4th round pick for a cornerback who suddenly finds himself in a logjam at cornerback could be beneficial for both sides and free’s the Dallas Cowboys from paying him.
The Dallas Cowboys are thin on the defensive line but trading away players at that position helps them more in the long run.
I think that the defensive line is still thin but I do not see a spot for defensive tackle Trysten Hill. I think that he has the ability to become a decent penetrating defensive tackle but the addition of bigger defensive tackles signals the end of what had been the Monte Kiffen and Rod Marinelli Tampa two ideology.
The perfect place for Hill would be reuniting him with Rod Marinelli in Las Vegas but the return should be a rare player for player swap. Raiders Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is a big-bodied defensive tackle who might be available if Marinelli determines he won’t fit his system is a good place to start as is young tight end Foster Moreau who is good at blocking, something currently devoid on the Dallas Cowboys roster.
The last player on the list is defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford. I still think that the Dallas Cowboys will approach him about a reduction in salary but he is current insurance at the defensive end position. Crawford is a jack of all positions but is a master of none.
Depending on what they see in edge rusher Aldon Smith and a resolution is determined in the Randy Gregory case, holding on to Crawford is the smart play for now. If Gregory is reinstated and Smith looks like he can be a contributor for this team, I would look for Crawford to take a reduction in salary or be cut/traded.
There are reports that Crawford wouldn’t oppose a salary reduction but minds can change at any time. An outright release or trade would provide the Dallas Cowboys with enough money to sign their entire rookie class.
A trade partner would be a hard sell especially at his current salary but if the Cowboys could get a late-round selection and salary-cap relief, why not attempt to pull off a deal?
I do not have an obvious trade destination but if I made up a list of non-conference teams that has salary cap space to burn, the first two teams that fit that description would be the Indianapolis Colts and the Cleveland Browns.
Let’s not forget that current Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus was a defensive assistant here in Dallas from 2011 through 2017 with whispers that the team wanted him to take over for Rod Marinelli before his departure to Indianapolis.
The bottom line is that trades are rare in the NFL. I just hate to see when players are released and they immediately end up on other teams and contribute without any compensation.