If the Dallas Cowboys have an offseason to-do list somewhere throughout The Star, it is likely quite long. There were a number of injuries that were responsible for the 2020 season’s demise, but they weren’t the whole story. This is a team that has a number of roster issues, and while they do have a top 10 pick to work with come the 2021 NFL Draft, the Cowboys are going to need to find some creative ways to find help.
The criticism has been leveled that the Cowboys are a front office void of any sort of creativity or functional thinking. While the team’s brain-trust has undoubtedly frustrated us all at different times they have definitely found an interesting path to acquiring talent in recent memory and that is via veteran trades.
Should the Dallas Cowboys explore trading for New England Patriots CB Stephon Gilmore?
While last year saw the Cowboys bring in veteran pass rusher Aldon Smith as a free agent acquisition, the player he replaced (so to speak) was one that they traded for in 2019.
Dallas had long been connected to then-Miami Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn. Two years ago the Cowboys finally made things official when they sent a sixth-round pick to Miami in order to land Quinn.
Things worked out rather well for Dallas in that Quinn gave them 11.5 sacks and a legitimate edge rusher opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence. What’s more is that they are also projected to earn a fourth-round compensatory pick here in 2021 thanks to the big deal that the Chicago Bears gave Quinn last offseason.
All in all, the Cowboys will get a great season and (potentially) a fourth-round pick all in exchange for a sixth-rounder. These are the kinds of deals that are smart for front offices to make as veterans on expiring deals can be quite the juicy piece of fruit. So should the Cowboys go down this path again? Say with a former Defensive Player of the Year in Stephon Gilmore?
And Patriots corner Stephon Gilmore, with one year left at $7 million — a bargain for a Defensive Player of the Year less than 13 months ago — is a name to watch. His name made the speculative rounds during the trade deadline in October.
ESPN outlined strange things that could be happening this offseason and a Gilmore trade is among them. The 2019 DPOY is entering the last year of his current contract which, as the worldwide leader notes, is extremely appealing on the surface.
Gilmore only played in 11 games this past season and actually finished with a lower PFF score than Trevon Diggs (Gilmore finished third on his team behind Jonathan Jones and J.C. Jackson by the way). He obviously did not have the form that saw him make All-Pro teams the two seasons prior (and win DPOY in 2019), and while he is now over 30 he is certainly worth taking a risk on.
You will recall that recent Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson joined Mike McCarthy’s Green Bay Packers during his age 30 season and was a huge boost towards them winning it all in Super Bowl XLV. Woodson was actually the most recent cornerback to win DPOY (2009) before Gilmore did 10 years later.
Many have suggested different veteran cornerbacks as options like Richard Sherman or Patrick Petersons. While those two players are going to be open market options, Gilmore’s far less removed from elite cornerback play. Given that whatever investment that would be necessary to acquire him could potentially be recouped in two years by way of a compensatory pick, that might be the most economically-friendly way for the Cowboys to bring talent in the secondary in as they are going to have to figure something out at quarterback.
The lone potential outlier here is that if the NFL does expand to a 17-game regular season schedule, and if it were to follow the reported protocol, then the Cowboys would play the Patriots in 2021. It is unlikely that New England would want to send him somewhere only to play him right away, but they are New England and therefore difficult to predict.
Should the Cowboys be interested in Stephon Gilmore?