Savvy last-minute trade proposal has Cowboys adding cover for struggling veteran

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

Jerry Jones has been adamant that the Dallas Cowboys won't make any moves before Tuesday's 4 p.m. EST trade deadline. While it's possible Jones is being deceitful in honor of Halloween, the owner -- much to the chagrin of fans -- has made it clear he won't initiate trade talks.

Jones could learn a thing or two from Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, who apparently calls up every team offering draft picks for players on expiring contracts or players sequestered to the bototm of the depth chart.

Bottom line? There's a trade to be made if Jones is hungry enough. With the Cowboys standing at 5-2 approaching a colossal Week 9 matchup against the 7-1 Eagles, Jones shouldn't have to search far and wide for incentive to upgrade the roster.

Names like Derrick Henry, Jerry Jeudy and Patrick Surtain have been floated as possibilities, but those are pipe dreams. It's much more likely that the Cowboys target low-profile players to improve depth at thin positions.

With that, CBS' Tyler Sullivan proposed a witty trade in which Dallas acquires disgruntled Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills for a low draft pick.

Yes, the Cowboys trade for Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills?

This feels like an ideal Jerry Jones trade. Before last year's deadline, the Cowboys reportedly were close to acquiring Brandin Cooks from the Texans. At the time, Cooks wanted out of Houston and to play for a contender. Mills' frustration stems from his reduced role on Bill Belichick's defense, but Jones has a propensity to poke around disgruntled players on palatable contracts.

While DaRon Bland might get Defensive Player of the Year votes and Stephon Gilmore delivering clutch pass breakups every week, the Cowboys could stand to bolster their cornerback room following Trevon Diggs' ACL tear.

Jourdan Lewis has been a problem in the slot. While he's showed well defending the run, he's on a concerning trajectory in coverage. Over the last three games, Lewis has a 45.0 coverage grade, per Pro Football Focus. For the season, he's allowed a 131.3 passer rating, three touchdowns and 14.0 yards per reception.

Mills isn't a world-beater, but he'd give the Cowboys needed cover in the nickel if Lewis doesn't rediscover his form. He's shown the ability to play out wide and at safety and his coverage numbers are solid across the board.

In 10 games for the Patriots last season, he allowed a 60.9% completion rate when targeted and limited opposing QBs to a 83.4 passer rating. In 2023, his allowed completion percentage has dropped below 60% and he's allowing a lowly 71.9 passer rating.

Mills' Patriots dropped to 2-6 after Sunday's loss. They currently own the No. 5 overall pick in the 2024 draft. Suffice it to say they have little reason to keep Mills, especially if he's playing less than 20% of the defensive snaps.

The Cowboys are fine at cornerback right now, but that would change in a flash if they suffered another injury. A CB room of Bland, Gilmore, Lewis and Mills would give Dallas a solid four-man rotation with Nahshon Wright providing deep insurance as CB5 once he's activated off injured reserve.

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