The Dallas Cowboys were not afraid to wheel and deal this offseason.
The Trey Lance shocker is all the rage on social media for obvious reasons, but netting Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks for three mid-round draft picks are two of the smartest moves any team in the NFL made this offseason.
Those trades in particular have the Cowboys primed for a deep playoff run. They add a winning pedigree to a talented roster that's enjoyed ample regular season success, but has consistently fallen short in the postseason.
It's unlikely Jerry Jones is scheming another big trade, but there's multiple high-profile players staging a holdout with Week 1 on the horizon, including 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa and Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones.
Jones has threatened to miss as many as eight games (!), and his recent social media activity suggests he'd be open to a Cowboys trade.
Chiefs star Chris Jones hints at Cowboys trade amid contract holdout
Of course the Cowboys are involved, right?
Sadly, though, this is likely nothing more than a leverage play from Jones' camp to motivate the Chiefs to budge in negotiations. Per Nick Wright of FS1, Jones has a two-year fully guaranteed extension on the table worth $27.25 million per year. Jones, though, is seeking Aaron Donald money at over $30 million per year.
The above tweet indicates Dallas and Kanas City have discussed a potential trade involving Jones. The return package of a first-round pick and Cowboys DT Osa Odighizuwa (which is very specific) is likely nothing but conjecture.
No reporter out of Dallas or KC has noted the teams are in talks, let alone have discussed the particulars of a possible blockbuster.
Of course, there's also Jones' gaudy contract demands to consider.
The Cowboys have showed zero hesitancy to lock up core players. This offseason alone, they've handed out extensions to Trevon Diggs, Terence Steele, and Malik Hooker. They also gave Zack Martin a two-year restructure worth $36.85 million.
That's textbook roster building and salary cap management, but the bill has yet to come due on CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons.
Lamb could reset the WR market if he signs after Justin Jefferson. Regardless, he'll command close to $25 million annually, while Parsons is a lock to become the highest-paid defender in league history after next season. Not to mention, Dallas needs to extend Dak Prescott by March to lower his 2024 cap number.
As much as Jones would elevate the Cowboys' Super Bowl odds, acquiring the All-Pro defender would throw a wrench into Dallas' plans to keep Prescott, Lamb and Parsons around for the long haul. They simply can't absorb a $30 million contract and expect to keep their current core intact.
Jones knows exactly what he's doing here.