4 trades the Cowboys should consider before the deadline

Mike Pennel, Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mike Pennel, Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Mike Pennel, Kansas City Chiefs
Mike Pennel, Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Mike Pennel, Defensive Tackle – Kansas City Chiefs

Now we shift to what might be the Cowboys’ biggest overall need, defensive tackle. To say the interior play of the Cowboys’ defensive line has been atrocious is an understatement.

It’s likely the most underperforming positional group on the team and needs to be addressed immediately. Yet, like safety, the Dallas’ brass undervalues the defensive tackle position and often refuses to make costly investments into it.

That philosophy seemed to change this offseason following the hiring of head coach Mike McCarthy. The Cowboys promptly signed two veteran free agents in Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe. Unfortunately, McCoy suffered a ruptured quad injury in training camp and is no longer on the team. As for the 30-year old Poe, he looks like a shell of the two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle he once was.

Following the season-ending ACL injury suffered by 2019 second-rounder Trysten Hill, the defensive tackle group in Dallas may now be the worst in the entire league. And the Cowboys desperately need to address it.

Dallas missed a major opportunity to fill this need by not signing free agent defensive tackle Damon Harrison, who is now with the Seattle Seahawks. Now, the Cowboys may be forced to trade draft picks in order to land a quality run-stuffer.

According to NFL Network reporter Jane Slater back in March, the Cowboys did their homework on four defensive tackles including both Poe and Harrison. The others were Ndamukong Suh and Mike Pennel. Of the two, Pennel is younger and far-less expensive.

The 6-foot-4, 330-pound Pennel is a rotational run-stuffer for the Kansas City Chiefs who helped them secure a Super Bowl title last year by starting twice in the playoffs. A free agent this offseason, Pennel elected to sign a modest one-year deal worth just over $1 million to remain in Kansas City.

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Unfortunately, Pennel was suspended for the first two games of the season by the NFL and has a history of violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. Still, the value he could provide to a lackluster defensive tackle position in Dallas is worth the risks.