Why the Cowboys trading for disgruntled Commanders star would be a huge mistake

Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Commanders
Philadelphia Eagles v Washington Commanders / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

Two of the Dallas Cowboys' three division rivals are a laughingstock, but no team has carried that mantle better than the Washington Commanders, who are headed for their seventh straight season without a winning record.

New ownership is motivated to turn the franchise around, but it might take a while to rid Washington of the Dan Snyder stench.

Speaking of which, one of the faces of the franchise -- defensive tackle Jonathan Allen -- admitted after the team's most recent loss that he's thought about leaving for an organization that's capable of competing. Essentially, Allen is tired of losing. He was drafted in 2017 and has played in one playoff game.

With the Commanders headed for a rebuild, they could trade the two-time Pro Bowler to stockpile more draft picks. While the Cowboys have a substantial need at defensive tackle, there's one big reason they shouldn't trade for Allen.

His name is Osa Odighizuwa.

Why the Cowboys shouldn't trade for Commanders DT Jonathan Allen

It's unlikely the Commanders would trade Allen within the division, but who knows? Maybe new owner Josh Harris is that desperate to expedite the rebuild. Regardless, while Allen is an accomplished defender in the league, Odighizuwa arguably offers more upside. He's almost four years younger than Allen, who turns 29 in January.

It's admittedly tough to compare a former first-round pick who went to Alabama to a former third-rounder who played college ball at UCLA, but Odighizuwa has managed to stick out on a Cowboys defense headlined by star talent. And he's done it despite not having a proper running mate on the interior.

We take nothing away from Allen, who's a deserving two-time Pro Bowler, but it undoubtedly helps that he's played on the same DL as Chase Young, Montez Sweat and DaRon Payne. It stands to reason Odighizuwa's production would ascend to a Pro Bowl level once Dallas gets more out of its other interior defenders.

Despite that, Odighizuwa ranks second among DTs this season with a 20% pass-rush win rate. Only three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald has a higher win rate. Allen ranks 19th in the same category with an 11% win rate.

Beyond that, Odighizuwa is more impactful against the run. His 82.8 run-defense grade this season ranks third among DTs behind potential All-Pros Quinnen Williams and Dexter Lawrence, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required). Additionally, Odighizuwa's 11.4% run stop percentage is tied for eighth at the position. Conversely, Allen has a 43.9 run defense grade and is 22nd in run stop percentage.

Maybe Allen's numbers would improve if he was dealt to a winning team, but Odighizuwa is a free agent after the season and will command a handsome salary as the Cowboys' most disruptive interior defender in a decade.

Allen, meanwhile, makes $18 million annually. When all is said and done, Odighizuwa could sign for anywhere between $14-18 million -- if not more -- this offseason.

The Cowboys need more from the DT position, but trading for Allen would prevent them from extending Odighizuwa. Given the trajectory No. 97 is on, that would be a massive mistake.

More Cowboys news and analysis: