One thing the Dallas Cowboys are dealing with is a confused situation with their offensive line depth. At this point, the only roster lock behind the starters is Connor McGovern, although Ty Nsekhe may be close. Some are not that convinced of McGovern’s value. However, it now appears other teams are.
Teams are eyeing a move for Connor McGovern in a potential trade, but the Cowboys would be reluctant to deal him. They see him as a starter even if he does not open season as one. Mike McCarthy: "He had a tremendous finish as far as his growth as a player throughout last year."— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 20, 2021
This reflects how many NFL teams are struggling to come up with viable linemen. For years now, there has been a real problem for NFL teams as the college game has become more and more distinct from the pros. Few NCAA teams are concerned about setting and keeping a good pocket as the quarterback is far more likely to be on the move, and teams focus on just making one or two reads before the throw, or a decision to tuck and run. Many college QBs are as much a runner as a passer. So far, Lamar Jackson is one of the few to bring that style of play to the NFL. As a result of this, offensive linemen drafted into the league have a steep learning curve to become useful at the pro level, with many who seemed absolute studs in college having desultory careers in the NFL.
That is why the Cowboys would indeed be very hesitant to deal McGovern. They have a proven commodity with NFL game experience. He also seems to have the confidence of the coaching staff. With the multiple injuries and huge struggles for Dallas when the bulk of their starting offensive line was out by the end of the season, they likely place an even higher value on a known, dependable backup than most.
But there is always a price that is too good to resist. The question is always what is actually being proposed, even in a very preliminary fashion, and would it be enough to get the Cowboys to accept the deal. There could also be a player for player offer. For just one example, with Neville Gallimore’s injury, the team may be tempted by a good DT offered by a team that is loaded there.
The answer to whether any kind of move is possible does not just involve McGovern’s ability, but what the staff may think it has with the other offensive linemen on the roster. If they believe that others vying for a roster spot are closer to him than we realize, this might be attractive. Brandon Knight, Matt Franiok, and Isaac Alarcon have all gotten work in the interior of the line. Perhaps one or even more of them are showing more promise than might be obvious from what we see.
However, Archer seems spot on in saying the team would be reluctant. The idea of one of the other backups being close to McGovern was admittedly a bit of a strawman argument. He is very valuable, and as the tweet says he is viewed as starting caliber. That would be the starting argument for any trade talks. Any team wanting to enter into discussions has to answer the question of just what a starting guard with position flex is worth to acquire.
It is highly doubtful any will be able to make that kind of offer. But not impossible. This will likely not go anywhere. Perhaps it is most useful to educate us about just what we already have.