The Dallas Cowboys are no stranger to strengthening their roster by paying top dollar for players who price themselves out of returning to their prior teams. The perpetual cheapness of the Cincinnati Bengals may help Dallas get a legit shot at trading for Jessie Bates III.
Bates, an integral part of a defense that helped a franchise that went three decades without a playoff win make it to the Super Bowl, is embroiled in a contract dispute. While he has been franchise tagged by the Bengals, it appears as though he is not going to suit up for them unless he gets a long-term deal.
Cincinnati could look to trade Bates and reset the salary clock with a much younger player. As unlikely as a trade may seem given Bates’ durability and quality, we shouldn’t assume that Mike Brown will ever take the financially burdensome route over cheating out.
If Bates becomes available, the Cowboys need to throw their hat in the ring as soon as possible. Bates would be a serious shot in the arm that would help steer the Cowboys on a path to success in the immediate future. If they can pull some Mickey Loomis-esque cap magic off to get a deal done, Bates could be in blue and white next year.
Will the Dallas Cowboys trade for Jessie Bates?
Bates has missed just two regular season games in his career, picking off 10 passes in his four years with the Bengals. He’s prone to some lapses in coverage, but he is generally considered an exceptional turnover-generator who is still at home close to the line of scrimmage.
Even with the emergence of Trevon Diggs last season, the secondary could stand to add one more difference-maker. Jayron Kearse is solid, but he is relatively inexperienced as a starter. Malik Hooker makes sense as a starter, but he is a walking PUP candidate due to his injury history.
Bates would require a major investment, but he would inarguably be one of the leaders of this defense. While he’s dominant, he won’t have to handicap the Cowboys by taking a deal that is too expensive. Don’t expect an AAV similar to what Jamal Adams and Minkah Fitzpatrick got from Seattle and Pittsburgh, respectively.
Dallas is never one to sit back and watch elite players available for reasonable prices move elsewhere.
With the Eagles in an aggressive mood and both the Giants and Commanders looking for impact pieces that can get back on track, Dallas will have competition for Bates.