Surprise NFL signing gives Cowboys ideal trade target to fortify offense

Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys v Jacksonville Jaguars / Courtney Culbreath/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys desperately need to upgrade the defensive tackle position. A team reporter mentioned the ageless Calais Campbell as a potential target. Whomever the Cowboys pursue, though, they can't enter the 2024 season with Mazi Smith, seventh-round pick Justin Rogers and journeyman veteran Carl Davis as the only nose tackles on the roster.

Most Cowboys fans would point to NT as the weakest position on the roster. Their interest in free-agent Zay Jones proves they want another receiver behind CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks, but running back is another position they could look to upgrade before training camp.

Luckily, running back is a plug-and-play position so Dallas can wait until August to trade for their eventual starter. They could even wait until the trade deadline, but ideally they get someone in the building before Week 1 so the offense hits the ground running.

The stars might just be aligning for the Cowboys to add a new back.

Cowboys should trade for Panthers RB Miles Sanders

Out of nowhere this week, the Panthers signed Rashaad Penny. This came after they traded up in round two of the draft for Texas phenom Jonathon Brooks. A longtime Cowboys draft target, Brooks is recovering from a torn ACL, but he's on track to be ready for training camp. Assuming he doesn't suffer a setback, Brooks will become the Panthers' lead back.

That puts Miles Sanders in a weird spot. Penny might be in a battle to make the 53-man roster, but Carolina now has four capable RBs on the roster: Brooks, Sanders, Penny and 2023 leading rusher Chub Hubbard, who vastly outplayed Sanders last season.

Sanders had a poor debut season with the Panthers after he signed a four-year, $25.4 million contract last March. In 16 games, he averaged 3.3 yards per carry. That can be attributed to him playing through injury, running behind a poor offensive line and Carolina having no passing game to speak of.

It's important to remember that Sanders is one year removed from a Pro Bowl campaign in Philadelphia. He rushed for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns on 4.9 yards per attempt. The former second-round pick is more than capable of rushing behind a stable offensive line.

The Cowboys check that box after they revamped their OL in the draft and they boast a more proficient passing game than the Eagles. With 4.49 speed and elite jump-cut ability, Sanders is exactly what Dallas needs in its backfield to complement Ezekiel Elliott and Rico Dowdle.

It seems the Panthers are squeezing Sanders out of their plans. The Cowboys might wait to pounce because that's how they do business but they better have Sanders in their crosshairs following the Penny signing.

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