Final roster cuts this year are scheduled for Saturday, September 1st. Prior to 4:00 p.m. ET, teams must reduce rosters in one fell swoop from the current 90 to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
Those roster cuts are usually accompanied by a flurry of trades both before and after September 1st, and Stephen Jones indicated today that the Cowboys are not averse to joining that flurry.
Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @1053thefan: “As we all know, the 53 we ultimately have [Week 1] for Carolina might not all be on campus right now. We’ll just continue to see what things make sense to us in terms of improving this football team and we’ll see where we end up.”— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) August 25, 2018
The Cowboys have traditionally been very busy working the phones during and after roster cuts as they’ve looked to trade or add players, so it’s not much of a stretch to assume that they’ll be active again next weekend.
- In 2013, a trade didn’t materialize until after final roster cuts when the Cowboys traded for LB Edgar Jones from the Kansas City Chiefs on the day after final roster cuts. They then followed that up by trading DT Sean Lissemore to San Diego and TE Dante Rosario to Chicago the next day, both for seventh-round picks.
- In 2014, they traded DE Ben Bass to New England for CB Justin Green in mid-August and traded for DE Lavar Edwards on the day of final roster cuts for a conditional seventh-round pick.
- In 2015, the Cowboys acquired RB Christine Michael in a trade with Seattle for a conditional seventh-round pick after final roster cuts and traded for Oakland WR Brice Butler a week later.
- In 2016, Denver contacted Dallas to try to trade Mark Sanchez prior to final roster cuts, but the Cowboys didn’t budge, though they reacted quickly once the Broncos cut Sanchez.
- Last year, they acquired CB Bene’ Benwickere in a trade (for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2019) with Cincinnati on the day of final roster cuts. One day after final roster cuts they traded for LB Jayrone Elliott out of Green Bay (for a 2018 conditional seventh-round pick).
None of these trades delivered world-beaters to Dallas. In fact, outside of Brice Butler, none of the players acquired in the last five years lasted more than a season in Dallas, and the acquired picks haven’t paid off either: The Dante Rosario pick was used to trade up for Devin Street, and the Sean Lissemore pick was used on Mark Nzeocha.
But expecting world-beaters from these types of trades is not realistic anyway. These trades are about churning the bottom of the roster.
Which is why Will McClay and the rest of the front office are probably busy right now trying to line up a few trades in an effort to perhaps get better value for some of the bubble players they’ve penciled in for the 53-man roster.
An equally likely scenario is that the Cowboys could be looking to invest one of their 2019 late-round draft picks a little early. Given the trouble of finding roster spots for their late-round picks and UDFAs this year, I wonder if the Cowboys would be better served by investing one of those 2019 late-round picks in a trade this year, rather than spending it on a rookie next year who might not even make final roster cuts.
The Cowboys will likely be looking for help along the O-line, at safety, perhaps at tight end, and maybe at other positions as well. Why not go and get the guys you want instead of sorting through what’s left after roster cuts?
So get ready for a trade or two next week, except it’s probably not going to be the one you’re thinking of.