clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Three possible trade candidates for the Cowboys before the 2018 season (not named Earl Thomas)

The Cowboys could still make a deal this summer to help strengthen their roster.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The front office of the Dallas Cowboys is always looking to improve the roster. While free agency and the draft is over, the team can still find players on other rosters who could help the team in 2018. Are there any players out there that you would like to see the Cowboys go after (ones not named Earl Thomas)?

Here are three players who could fit with the team without costing them too much in return.


Much to the chagrin of many Cowboys fans, Earl Thomas is off the table for this particular discussion. That’s not to say that deal is out of the question, but rather just an acknowledgement that we’ve talked about it so much that we want to give someone else a shot now. The Cowboys organization is very stingy with their draft capital, so we have to dig a little deeper.

The coaching staff feels good about the safeties they have on the roster, but that doesn’t mean they can’t find room for a player who has the ability to contribute on this defense. Cleveland’s Derrick Kindred could be that player.

Kindred was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, which means he’s only halfway through his rookie contract. He’s made a good impression with the Browns, but injuries in each of his first two years have ended his season early. He’s also been stuck behind other quality safeties in Cleveland. His rookie season, he was behind Jordan Poyer. When Poyer signed with Buffalo the following season, he got more opportunities, but still had to compete with former first-round pick Calvin Pryor and new first-round pick Jabrill Peppers. He would beat out both of them and win the starting gig. This offseason, the Browns traded away DeShone Kizer to the Green Bay Packers for Damarious Randall to help strengthen their safety position. While Randall will hold down one starting spot, the second one is once again up for grabs between Kindred and Peppers. The Browns are hoping Peppers improves enough to be their starter for the future and that could make Kindred expendable.

Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath are good free safety options, but the team really only has one real strong safety and that’s Kavon Frazier. While Frazier is showing good improvement, a player like Kindred would be an upgrade. He is exceptional against the run, but is a better coverage safety than Frazier. It’s not a blockbuster trade, but it can be a low-cost move to help strengthen the safety position.


The Cowboys didn’t draft Vita Vea. Nor did they sign Terrell McClain in free agency. Despite having a slew of 3-tech defensive tackle options, the team is running a little dry at 1-tech. Right now, Brian Price and Richard Ash are the best true 1-tech options for the team and neither of them give us a reason to be excited. If the Cowboys don’t add another player, they’ll likely roll with some type of timeshare with Price/Ash getting snaps on run downs as well as shuffling around players like Maliek Collins, Jihad Ward, and Datone Jones.

Should Dallas decide to add a run-stuffing defensive tackle, the Baltimore Raven’s Carl Davis would be a good option. A third-round pick in 2015, Davis is entering the final year of his rookie contract. Baltimore has depth on their interior defensive line and if they don’t have any intention of re-signing Davis, they could try to get a late-round draft pick in return.

Davis had a solid season last year. He’s nothing spectacular, but that’s usually the type of trades the Cowboys pursue. The team could look to swap out a player at a position they are talent-heavy at (like Charles Tapper maybe?) in order to shore up the depth somewhere else.


The retirement of Jason Witten caught everyone by surprise and that left the team in a precarious situation at tight end. The experience they now currently have is led by Geoff Swaim and his nine career catches. That’s scary. But the Cowboys like the potential of their young group and it’s very possible they stand pat with what they’ve got at tight end. But come August, that feeling could change if things don’t work out. While the team may have some quality options for the future, there are no promises that someone can deliver right now. This is a worst-case scenario, but the tight end position is a great unknown and do the Cowboys want to go into the 2018 season with a weak group?

Not only would the Cowboys tight end position group have to be in bad shape, but they would need the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to have a surplus. All that would take is for last year’s first-round pick O.J. Howard to stand out in preseason. After a slow start last year, Howard started playing well down the stretch. He even matched the veteran Brate’s touchdown total of six by scoring in three of the team’s last five games. Howard is the future, but could he also make a push for the team’s primary tight end?

Tampa Bay bought themselves some insurance by signing Brate to a six-year, $41 million deal this offseason. But if Howard kills it in camp, the team might jump at an opportunity to trade for something more useful and get out of that contract. The Cowboys might not be interested in paying out $6.8 million a year as this would just be an extension of what they were paying out for Witten, but Brate is only 26-years-old. This would buy them some time to work out their tight-end situation and they could get out of it anytime.

Are there any players you’d like to see the Cowboys trade for?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys