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Why a trade for All-Pro safety Jamal Adams suddenly makes sense for the Dallas Cowboys

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What was once not a good idea has become a good idea.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

When the idea first originated in the middle of last season to make a deal for New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, it seemed unrealistic. There is no denying that the young stud safety would be a welcomed addition to the Dallas Cowboys, but in order to acquire his services, it would take some ridiculously expensive investments. Not only would the Cowboys have to surrender multiple premium draft picks, but he was in the third year of his rookie deal, which means he’s going to have to be paid soon. And paid a lot.

As nice as it would be to have a player like Adams on this team, it just didn’t seem like a luxury the Cowboys could afford.

Some things have changed since then that have cracked open a window of opportunity. A couple weeks ago, my colleague Connor Livesay wrote an April 1st post wondering if the Cowboys and Jets could reengage in trade talks. He wasn’t fool’n. There are some things that have happened that make this worth considering. For starters, what if the board washes out in the first round and the Cowboys aren’t too keen on the players available when pick 17 rolls around. Sure, the top two safeties in this draft, Xavier McKinney and Grant Delpit, are likely to be there, but is that how the Cowboys want to use their first-round pick? Livesay explains...

The safety options in the first round don’t make a lot of sense with the 17th overall pick, and while the Cowboys need to draft the best player available with that pick, investing in another offensive lineman, linebacker, or defensive tackle may not be the most responsible use of the first-round pick.

If the Cowboys start to sense that neither Henderson or Chaisson will be available come draft day, you have to wonder if Stephen Jones will pick up the phone and give Jets GM Joe Douglas a call.

When you look at the Amari Cooper trade, the Cowboys agreed to pay such a premium cost because they needed a wide receiver badly and they weren’t likely to find a player of that ability in the 2019 draft. They were right. Instead of settling for whatever the best receiver available was when it was their pick, or face the fallout of not even addressing the position with a high draft pick, the Cowboys took matters in their own hands and got the player they wanted. The team could take the same approach with the safety position when it comes to Adams.

One of the biggest apprehensions people have about making a trade like this is how all the draft capital needed to acquire him is crucial to this teams ability to sustain the roster with low-cost rookie deals. The Jets initially wanted a first-round pick and two second-rounders. With all the contracts the Cowboys need to deal with (including Cooper’s extension this offseason), it’s imperative they have those draft resources to help fill out their roster. Three premium picks is just too much to give up.

BTB alum and Cowboys Wire managing editor KD Drummond just revisited an Adams trade scenario and if this move is your cup of tea, I highly recommend checking it out. As he points out, the cost of getting Adams has gone down a bit.

Last year the cost was a 1st and two second-round picks. With one season of control gone from that, we’re proposing sending New York the 2020 first, 2020 second and 2021 second, but in exchange for Adams and the Jets first of two 2020 third-round picks, No. 68.

In this scenario, instead of giving up three draft resources for one player, the team is only giving up a net of two draft resources. With Xavier Woods and recently added free agent Ha Ha Clinton-Dix only signed through the 2020 season, Dallas needs to take action to address the safety position real soon. If you consider the Cowboys are likely going to have to use a draft resource somewhere down the line, it really only amounts to one additional draft resource.

That’s definitely better, but part of the reason his asking price has fallen a bit is because the team control for 2019 is no longer in the picture. This means the Cowboys are going to have to pay him real soon and it won’t be cheap. As Livesay mentions in his article, the Cowboys do have a little more space than some of us expected as the team let Byron Jones, Robert Quinn, and Randall Cobb all walk in free agency. Those three players collectively have signed new deals worth $189 million with $94 million of that guaranteed. There is definitely some extra cash hanging around that the team may have not expected prior to free agency.

Not only that, but Travis Frederick has retired. Frederick had been signed through the 2023 season, costing the team over $43 million over the next four seasons. The team will have to absorb an $11 million dead money hit due to a prorated bonus due from converting his 2018 base salary, but that still leaves over $30 million that the Cowboys will not have on the books anymore. Why not use that money and replace a 29-year-old All-Pro with a 24-year-old All-Pro?

With more money to work with now and a reduced asking price, the idea of trading for Adams makes more sense than it ever has. What do you think - are you in? Let us know your thoughts on this possible trade idea in the comments section.