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Trade for Jamal Adams? No thanks: The Cowboys are a Super Bowl contending team without him

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Sometimes you got to dance with the one that brought you.

NFL Pro Bowl Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Jamal Adams is the best safety in the NFL. You’d have to be crazy to not want him on your football team. The level of interest becomes even greater when safety is one of the team’s biggest positions of need. And that just so happens to be the case for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys have Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Xavier Woods holding down the safety spots in the secondary, which is the best group they’ve had in a while. But let’s face it, they’re no Jamal Adams. They’re also both only under contract for one more season, so the Cowboys better start looking ahead real soon or the safety position is going to be a huge liability for them in the future.

Of course, this would be remedied by one blockbuster deal that would acquire Adams from the New York Jets. All the signs keep pointing in their favor. Adams is disgruntled and wants out of New York, a sentiment he keeps expressing again and again. Not only that, but he wants to play for the Cowboys, which is another thought he doesn’t shy away from sharing to the public. His latest includes liking an Instagram photo of him in a Cowboys uniform. It almost feels like this union is just meant to be.

Undoubtedly, we’ve heard this “unhappy safety wants to play for Dallas” song before in the form of Earl Thomas. In fact, if feels like we’ve been listening to it for the last three years, only with Adams now taking center stage. It should be noted that these two situations are considerably different as Thomas is 30 years old with a lot of mileage, whereas Adams is a sprightly 24 years of age. Thomas just recently signed a four-year, $55 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens that earns him nearly $14 million a year, which just so happens to be the going rate for all the top safeties in the league. You better believe that the new extension Adams is seeking will be on the north side of that dollar amount.

In the past year now, we’ve seen two other young defensive backs be traded with multiple years left on their rookie deal. Both were one of the best players coming out of their respective drafts, but for one reason or another - their organization opted to move on and acquire draft capital instead.

Jalen Ramsey was selected fourth overall in 2016 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. After the defending NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams started last season 3-3, they made a huge trade with the Jags to acquire Ramsey. But even with Ramsey, the Rams finished the season 9-7 and missed the playoffs. Not only that, but because of the Ramsey trade, they entered the offseason without their next two first-round picks. Ramsey is playing the upcoming season under his fifth-year option, but will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

While the Ramsey deal came with a huge price, the same is not true for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they scored Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins last year. There were a handful of Day 3 picks shuffled around in the deal, but the meat of the trade only cost the Steelers their 2020 first-rounder to land the safety who was selected 11th overall in the 2018 Draft. Fitzpatrick flourish in Pittsburgh, picking off five passes and earning All-Pro honors at just 23 years old. To make things even better, the Steelers still have him under team control for the next three years for super cheap.

These are two contrasting trades with much different costs. When it comes to Adams, his situation should be somewhere in the middle. The Jets aren’t likely to get two first-rounders for him, but should net something a little more than just one.

But for a team like the Cowboys, that’s still too much to give up for three big reasons. First, Adams is going to be expensive real soon. The front office has to be smart about where they allocate their money. Can they afford him? Yes, but it’s a piece of the pie that won’t be available for someone else.

Second, those draft picks they’d be giving away for Adams are great ways to add quality players on cheap rookie deals. They’re equally important in keeping their finances together.

Finally, the Cowboys are a great drafting team. Do you really want to take the bat out of Will McClay’s hands? Trading a first and a third for Adams is the equivalent of trading away CeeDee Lamb and Michael Gallup and nobody would be willing to give that up for him.

There is no denying that adding Adams would make the Cowboys a better team, and they’d be an instant Super Bowl contender. But the largest part of that reason is because of the great front offices moves this team has done already. Don’t mess up a good thing by getting caught up in this “one player away” mentality. That’s how Jerry Jones has gotten in trouble in the past.

Stay the course. Do what you do. The Cowboys can still be a Super Bowl winning team without him.