November 3rd is the NFL trade deadline. In years past, whenever this deadline approached, there was always discussions about what player the Dallas Cowboys should go after to better prepare themselves for a deep playoff run. Lately, those names have included one of the league’s premiere safeties like Earl Thomas or Jamal Adams as both those guys expressed that they no longer wanted to play for the team they were on. And while the Cowboys desperately needed help at the safety position, they ultimately passed on making a big move because they valued their draft capital.
Fast forward to today, and suddenly the idea of going out and grabbing some star from another team isn’t so desirable. This team has all kinds of problems, and the addition of one player won’t suddenly fix that. Instead, the Cowboys are now sitting on the other side of the fence to where they are going nowhere fast and it’s time to think about the future. For that reason, this organization should consider being sellers by the trade deadline, and here are three reasons why.
1. The carrots are cooked
Fans haven’t experienced this type of unhappiness since the 2015 season when they finished the year 4-12. Strangely, this year brings about some similarities as the team lost it’s starting quarterback early in the season and started the year with a 2-5 record. And like that season, the NFC East was terrible, so despite the inability to win football games, the window of hope remained open because they were never that far out of the division lead. Additionally, the eventual return of Tony Romo salvaged that hope to where fans believed if that Cowboys team could just hold on a bit, they’d be in position to make a run. Unfortunately, when Romo did eventually come back, it was short-lived as he got hurt again in his second game back and was lost for the year. And so went the Cowboys season.
This year, there will be no return of Dak Prescott. Additionally, their offensive line is completely decimated. The defense is in shambles to where even if the offense was healthy, they’d have a virtually impossible task of continually putting points on the board to account for their terrible defense. Currently, the Cowboys are last in the league in points allowed averaging 34.7 points per game. If they keep this rate up, they will break the NFL record for the most points allowed in a season currently held by the 1981 Baltimore Colts. That’s right, they are close to being historically bad. Literally.
It’s hard to believe things are going to get any better. The injuries are bad, many of the guys playing right now are bad, and this new coaching staff might also be bad. It’s hard to know definitively what the real source is as there are so many things going wrong, but what we can say about these coaches is that what they’re doing right now isn’t working. Maybe it will come eventually, but it’s not something that is going to fix itself quickly to where they can right this ship.
2. Let Will McClay cook
If there is anything positive about this football team it is that their player personnel department continues to do a very good job collecting players. This team has some great players. We know that because we’ve witnessed them play great. While there is a lot of underachieving going on at the moment, that shouldn’t be misconstrued as the “talent acquisition isn’t as good as we thought it was.”
And it has gotten even better without so much interference of the coaches getting in the way of the draft process. This team is coming off one of their better drafts. It’s early, but it’s very possible this team has found themselves three future Pro Bowlers in CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, and Tyler Biadasz.
Entering Week 7, this trio made quite the impression on the league. Lamb wasted no time proving that his selection in the first round this year was hands down the right move as he’s hit the ground running.
Diggs was the seventh cornerback taken in the 2020 draft, but he’s already proving that it was a mistake for him to fall that far.
Lowest completion % allowed among rookie CBs:— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 23, 2020
1. Jaylon Johnson, Bears - 50%
2. Michael Ojemudia, Broncos - 56%
3. Trevon Diggs, Cowboys - 60% pic.twitter.com/wNJHznWEPf
It should be noted that Diggs as been thrown right into the fire against some really talented wide receivers this season. Julio Jones, D.K. Metcalf, and DeAndre Hopkins to name a few. All things considered, he’s doing very well for a rookie corner.
And finally, the departure of Travis Frederick left a huge hole, but we are finding out quickly that the rookie Biadasz was a great draft pick. Entering this past Sunday, he had only allowed five pressures on the year, which is the second-fewest among all rookie offensive linemen who have played in at least 200 snaps this season. Not only has his pass protection been solid, but he had the highest run blocking win rate for centers.
These three players are already looking like great picks, and we still haven’t even seen what guys like Neville Gallimore, Bradlee Anae, and Reggie Robinson II can do. This most recent draft was a very good haul, and any time this organization has an opportunity to get Will McClay and his scouts some additional draft capital - they should do it.
3. Lose them now, or lose them later
If this Cowboys team is not going anywhere this season, then what does that mean for some of the players playing in the last year of their contracts? Is this team re-signing Xavier Woods? Jourdan Lewis? While those players won’t return much on the trade market, what about a player like Michael Gallup?
Your initial reaction might be to scoff at such a notion, but let’s think this through. Gallup has one more year remaining on his contract after this season. Is the team re-signing him? Amari Cooper’s on the books for four more years after this one, and whether you think he’s worth that type of money or not, Coop’s actually a pretty good player. Cooper is quietly on pace for over 1,300 yards receiving, which would be his fifth 1,000+ yard season over his first six years in the league.
Then, there’s Lamb who the team has on a five-year rookie deal when you factor in his fifth-year option. So, where does that leave Gallup? We are seeing first hand that this team is going to waste the talent they have at the receiver position, and there is nothing they can do about it. If a wide receiver needy team came calling, would you entertain trading Gallup for a decent draft pick?
It’s never fun to wave the white flag and watch your favorite team get beat week in and week out, but the great thing about the NFL is that it will always be here tomorrow. And you know who else will be here tomorrow (figuratively speaking)? Dak Prescott. Tyron Smith. La’el Collins.
Trading away some healthy starters won’t help this team be better now, but it could help them be better later. And even though more losing would be on the way, we could get better looks at players like Donovan Wilson (who’s finally seeing an expanded role), Francis Bernard, and Justin Hamilton. Or maybe play Randy Gregory more than just six measly snaps. Those things would go a long way in better preparing for the 2021 season.