Cowboys would be foolish to follow Bleacher Report's trade advice

Bleacher Report identified three players the Cowboys could trade before training camp. That doesn't mean they should.
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys
Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

With the way the Dallas Cowboys have operated this offseason, we suppose anything is on the proverbial table in the weeks leading up to training camp.

While they could certainly benefit from adding a veteran running back and more depth at a position like linebacker, it's pretty apparent why NFL analysts and writers continue to rank the Cowboys' personnel among the best in the league.

That brings us to the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" adage.

In a recent article, Bleacher Report identified the Cowboys' top trade candidates before they report to training camp later this month.

The names? Jonathan Hankins (?), Jourdan Lewis and Dorance Armstrong. While Lewis and Armstrong are worthy inclusions -- we still wouldn't trade either of them -- trading Hankins would undue a lot of the great work Dallas put together this offseason.

The Cowboys would be crazy to trade Johnathan Hankins.

Knox believes that if Cowboys rookie first-round pick Mazi Smith defies the odds and establishes himself as a starter by Week 1, then it would be "logical" for the front office to entertain trade offers for the 340-pound Hankins.

"Moving Hankins would save $940,000 in 2023 cap space and would likely offset the cost of acquiring him in the first place—a 2024 seventh-round pick.

While Hankins is 31 years old and hasn't played a full season since 2020, he's still a valuable player who could start for a team with less depth along the defensive front. A lot hinges on Smith's development, but if he's ready to go, Hankins would be a logical trade candidate."

For starters, the Cowboys aren't crying out for $940,000 in cap room. As of this writing, they rank seventh in the NFL with $20.452 million in cap space. That number will increase dramatically when (if) Dak Prescott signs an extension.

And does it really matter if Dallas recoups the seventh-round pick gave up for Hankins in the first place? The Cowboys love drafting -- beacuse they're really good at it -- but what team is splitting hairs over a seventh-rounder?

Most importantly, though, is the fact that Hankins vastly improved Dallas' run defense last year. Though an injury prevented him from making an impact from Weeks 15-18, he's the best natural run defender and space eater on the roster.

Trading Hankins would put the Cowboys right back where they started before the draft -- with concerning questions about the interior defensive line -- and unnecessary pressure on Smith to hit the ground running in year one.

No "contender" should ever rest on their laurels when it comes to upgrading their roster, but sanctioning trades just for the sake of shuffling things around? That's asking to blow up in your face, and will likely hinder your Super Bowl odds.

That's exactly what the Cowboys would be doing if they traded Hankins.

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