On Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys will have to cut down their roster from 90 to 53 players. Thirty-seven hopefuls will learn their fate and pray they have done enough to either be signed to the practice squad or be claimed by another NFL team.
While 1,184 names on the waiver wire can create mass havoc, there may be a different approach to fill depth at certain positions.
While cornerback, safety, tight end and defensive line are just a few position groups the Cowboys have very tough decisions to make in the very near future, finding depth at other positions may be a challenge. Specifically at offensive line and linebacker.
While taking a chance on such a hectic waiver wire is the likely avenue of approach, they could capitalize on a player's value in order to stock up on other positions. By that, I mean trading a strength for a strength -- even after Dallas bolstered its QB room by acquiring Trey Lance from the 49ers for a fourth-round pick.
Unloading from a loaded cornerback or safety room for a linebacker may be a route the team takes. The market has been slow as there has yet to be a trade since every team reported to training camp.
If the team opts to attempt and sneak through any poachable talent instead, other options are needed.
Trading for Pricey Veterans
Over The Cap has a fate chart that examines and ranks the likelihood a player may not make it past 2023 on their current contract. It looks like Dallas hit home runs with the acquisitions of wideout Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore so it made sense to begin here.
With young players such as Asim Richards, T.J. Bass, and Matt Weletzko showing value, a primary veteran backup on the offensive line could be the play.
With names like Bear's Cody Whitehair and the Buc's Ryan Jensen among the players on this list, available veteran linemen with digestible contracts do not appear to be available. Asking them to play a reserve role is an even bigger obstacle.
As for any off-the-ball linebackers, the only feasible target would be Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker, yet any deal would have to include Miami eating a significant portion of his large salary. The same rules as above apply here as well.
After a process of elimination, trading for a potential cap casualty may not be the best approach.