1 trade Cowboys must make with Titans to counter Kevin Byard stunner

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys' Week 6 win looks even bigger after the Philadelphia Eagles handled the Miami Dolphins 31-17 on Sunday Night Football.

Viewed as a measuring stick game for the Eagles, who had looked anything but dominant over the season's first six games, Philly looked the part of a title contender in Week 7 ... even though Jalen Hurts added two more turnovers to his 2023 tally.

Despite Hurts' expected regression, the Eagles offense is the least of their concerns. The defense -- specifically the secondary, which has been ravaged by injuries -- has been a point of weakness virtually all season.

Ever looking to improve at a reasonable cost, the Eagles acquired All-Pro safety Kevin Byard from the Titans in a shocking trade on Monday. All it took was a 2024 fifth-round pick, a 2024 sixth-round pick and safety Terrell Edmunds, who gave up the Dolphins only touchdown Sunday night.

It's another masterclass of roster building from GM Howie Roseman; one that should motivate the Cowboys to enter business with the clearly-selling Titans and potentially upgrade positions of weakness.

Cowboys should trade for Titans LB Azeez Al-Shaair after Kevin Byard stunner

Cowboys fans might remember Al-Shaair from his days with the 49ers. He became the odd man out in San Francisco's linebacker room this past offseason, but that's no knock on Al-Shaair as Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw form the best LB tandem in the league.

Al-Shaair played all three linebacker spots for the 49ers, which speaks to his versatility. Between 2021 and 2022, he logged 146 tackles, two sacks and an interception. He parlayed that into a one-year, $5 million contract with the Titans.

If Byard was acquired at that price, Al-Shaair could be available for nothing more than a late-round pick swap. The Cowboys could use another LB with Leighton Vander Esch on IR with a neck strain.

While Markquese Bell showed out in Week 6, he and fellow starter Damone Clark have started a combined 12 games in their careers. Conversely, Al-Shaair has 37 starts under his belt to go with 67 games played in four-plus seasons.

Al-Shaair would go a long way towards strengthening Dallas' run defense. While not the turnstile it was for most of last season, the Cowboys run D has looked suspect at times. Over the last two seasons, Al-Shaair has logged run-defense grades of 79.7 (2022) and 79.9 (2023), respectively, per Pro Football Focus.

Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons would be a dream acquisition for Dallas, but he's one of a few core pieces Tennessee (likely) isn't listing for sale. If that changes, the Cowboys should do whatever it takes to get the two-time Pro Bowler. Assuming it doesn't though, Al-Shaair would be a worthwhile consolation prize.

He'd provide needed cover at linebacker in the event Vander Esch misses more time than expected with his neck ailment. On a free agent contract, Al-Shaair would represent a significant upgrade at a minimum cost.

Time for the Cowboys to take a page out of the Eagles playbook.

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