The Dallas Cowboys move the needle so pundits and analysts will brainstorm blockbuster trades involving the team leading up to the Oct. 31 deadline.
This offseason was exhausting in that regard. Dalvin Cook, DeAndre Hopkins (before he was released by the Cardinals), Jerry Jeudy, and Derrick Henry were just some of the high-profile players the media wanted to see in a Cowboys uniform.
With the trade deadline just days away, the carousel has started again. While cornerback, linebacker, offensive line and wide receiver stick out as positions Dallas could upgrade at a reasonable cost, the running back discourse has made an unwelcome return.
During a recent episode of Fox's "First Things First," co-host Nick Wright pitched the Cowboys acquiring one Saquon Barkley from the rival Giants.
The Giants are never trading Saquon Barkley to the Cowboys
This isn't quite as heinous as ESPN's Bill Barnwell wanting Dallas to trade for injured Cardinals back James Conner, but it's pretty darn close.
In fairness to wright, Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is a perfect trade target for the Cowboys. Even Kyle Dugger has some appeal as a possible successor to Jayron Kearse, but Dallas is too stacked at safety right now to add another.
Getting back to Barkley, the odds of Dallas ponying up draft capital for a RB are slim to none. It's clear the Cowboys have done a 180 as far as how they value the position, and they believe in Tony Pollard as the lead back. Yes, Pollard is averaging a career low 3.9 yards per carry, but Dallas' run-blocking has struggled. It just hasn't been a huge talking point because of larger scale issues on that side of the ball.
What's even more unlikely? The Giants trading Barkley to strength a division rival. If Barkley is available -- head coach Brian Daboll has repeatedly shut down any speculation -- an AFC team (like the Ravens) is much more feasible. This is why Derrick Henry has been floated as a possible Cowboys target. The Titans dealing Henry to the NFC makes it a lot easier to stomach losing him than if he was dealt to Baltimore, for example.
Teams care about optics a lo more than you think.
The Giants trading Barkley to the Cowboys would be a sad look, and it's even more improbable after New York's win in Week 7. Despite being 2-5, the G-Men are somehow just 1.5 games back of the third Wild Card spot. They also have winnable games against the Jets, Raiders, Commanders, Patriots, Packers and Saints coming up in the next eight weeks.
A game against the Cowboys is sprinkled in on Nov. 12. Despite Wright's wishes, Barkley will assuredly be dressed for Big Blue in that game.