When it comes to the Dallas Cowboys, when they make a trade it’s one nobody is really expecting. It’s almost as if they come out of thin air, even though we know that’s not the case. Churning the roster is a nonstop business and teams talk back and forth all the time to inquire about certain player’s availability. It’s just the nature of the business.
Ever since Stephen Jones has taken a larger role in personnel decisions the Cowboys haven’t been known as a team to part with anything higher than a late-round draft pick when facilitating a trade, unless you’re talking about Amari Cooper. That’s not to say they wouldn’t give up higher draft picks, but it’s probably not something we should expect either. All options should be on the table.
As things stand right now, the Jones family would be wise to work the phones to see exactly which players may be available via trade to try to upgrade the roster. Below are a handful of such players who could be put on the trade block, and if available, could be of interest to the Cowboys.
WR Denzel Mims, New York Jets
A wide receiver!? Why in the world with the Cowboys trade for a wide receiver? Well, with Amari Cooper (ribs) currently banged up and Michael Gallup currently on injured reserve, the Cowboys receiving corps is starting to get pretty thin. On top of that, it’s always important to keep the future in mind and with Gallup, Cedrick Wilson, and Noah Brown in contract years, WR is going to become a draft “need” next year.
Denzel Mims was the New York Jets 2020 second-round pick (59th overall), but has found himself in the doghouse under new head coach Robert Saleh this year. He played only three offensive snaps (5%) in Week 1 and was inactive in Week 2. A homecoming for the former Baylor star WR could be mutually beneficial for both him and the Cowboys. The 6’3”, 207 lb, 23-year-old would help upgrade the position for both this year and next.
DE Clelin Ferrell, Las Vegas Raiders
While Micah Parsons played above expectations at defensive end in Week 2 against the Los Angeles Chargers, it’s important to remember it was against a backup and by no means should keep the Dallas Cowboys from trying to upgrade the position. DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) is out for the next six-to-eight weeks and Randy Gregory and Dorance Armstrong are in contract years. Like it or not, DE is a position of need both this year and next.
With that in mind, the Dallas Cowboys should inquire about the Las Vegas Raiders former 2019 first-round draft pick (4th overall). He was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and only played 12 snaps (21%) in Week 2 this season. Many are already labeling him a bust, which could work in the Cowboys favor. Dallas has been known to kick the tires on former first-rounders and Ferrell could be the next. It could be one of those low risk, high reward situations.
DE Whitney Mercilus, Houston Texans
With Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) sidelined for probably the next month and no indication of Deshaun Watson playing, the Houston Texans 2021 season could already be circling the drain. As such, they could be looking to move some of their players via trade in order to acquire more draft capital to help new GM Nick Caserio rebuild the team Bill O’Brien all but decimated. If true, veteran defensive end Whitney Mercilus could be on the trade block.
With DeMarcus Lawrence (foot) sidelined until sometime in November and with Randy Gregory and Dorance Armstrong in contract years, the Dallas Cowboys could use a veteran player like Mercilus both this year and next. The 31-year-old, 6’4”, 258 lb DE has more than enough left in the tank to help the Cowboys out during D-Law’s absence and make the position less of a draft “need” next year if acquired via trade.
CB Cameron Dantzler, Minnesota Vikings
After starting 10 games as a rookie in 2020 Cameron Dantzler has found himself a healthy scratch in Week 1 and only played 16 snaps (26%) in Week 2 with the Minnesota Vikings this year. The former third-round draft pick seems to be on the outside looking in, and as such, could find himself on a new team in the not-too-distant future if the Vikings decide to move him. According to reports, the San Francisco 49ers are showing trade interest already.
Like the 49ers, the Cowboys should absolutely pick up the phone to inquire about Dantzler’s availability. In search of a possible Anthony Brown upgrade, the 6’2”, 190 lb former Mississippi State CB is someone Dan Quinn could be interested in. He has the size/length Quinn likes on the outside and comes with some experience under his belt, albeit just one season. A fresh start could do this young CB wonders.
CB Noah Igbinoghene, Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins former 2020 first-round draft pick (30th overall) has been a healthy scratch against both the New England Patriots in Week 1 and the Buffalo Bills in Week 2 this season. Even if active on game days his playing time would be limited considering he has two high-priced cornerbacks ahead of him on the depth chart, Byron Jones and Xavien Howard, so moving him may be in the best interest of all parties concerned.
The Cowboys, who may be looking for a upgrade for Anthony Brown, could be interested in the former-first-round pick. At 5’11”, 198 lbs, Igbinoghene doesn’t really fit the parameters Dan Quinn typically prefers in his outside CBs, but his in-house options don’t seem to be the answer right now either. Maybe the player from South Beach is? If so, the Cowboys would be wise to pick up the phone to discuss compensation.