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Asleep at the wheel: Stephen Jones should be working the phones for last-minute trades prior to roster cut deadline. But is he?

Work those phones, Stephen Jones!

Dallas wide receiver Terrell Owens (81) pretends to sleep in Photo by Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Final roster cuts are are just two days away. On Tuesday, August 30th, teams must reduce rosters in one fell swoop from the current 80 to a maximum of 53 players.

Those roster cuts are usually accompanied by a flurry of trades both before and after the deadline, and the Cowboys have not been averse to joining that flurry, at least since Will McClay took over as the VP of player personnel in 2013. But they have been strangely inactive recently. Here’s an overview of the Cowboys’ trade activity around final roster cuts since 2013:

  • In 2013, a trade didn’t materialize until after final roster cuts when the Cowboys traded for LB Edgar Jones from the Kansas City Chiefs on the day after final roster cuts. They then followed that up by trading DT Sean Lissemore to San Diego and TE Dante Rosario to Chicago the next day, both for seventh-round picks.
  • In 2014, they traded DE Ben Bass to New England for CB Justin Green in mid-August and traded for DE Lavar Edwards on the day of final roster cuts for a conditional seventh-round pick.
  • In 2015, the Cowboys acquired RB Christine Michael in a trade with Seattle for a conditional seventh-round pick after final roster cuts and traded for Oakland WR Brice Butler a week later.
  • In 2016, Denver contacted Dallas to try to trade Mark Sanchez prior to final roster cuts, but the Cowboys didn’t budge, though they reacted quickly once the Broncos cut Sanchez.
  • In 2017, they acquired CB Bene’ Benwickere in a trade (for a conditional sixth-round pick in 2019) with Cincinnati on the day of final roster cuts. One day after final roster cuts they traded for LB Jayrone Elliott out of Green Bay (for a 2018 conditional seventh-round pick).
  • In 2018, they acquired OG Parker Ehinger in a trade with Kansas City for CB Charvarius Ward a day prior to final cuts.
  • In 2019 the Cowboys did nothing.
  • In 2020 the Cowboys did nothing.
  • In 2021 the Cowboys did nothing.

The Cowboys have held their feet still for three years, will this be the fourth straight year of doing nothing?

None of the roster-cut trades delivered world-beaters to Dallas. But expecting world-beaters from these types of trades is not realistic anyway. These trades are about churning the bottom of the roster or filling roster holes with veteran backups.

Which is why Stephen Jones and the rest of the front office should be supremely busy right now looking for a veteran tackle and lining up a few trades in an effort to perhaps get better value for some of the bubble players they’ve penciled in for the 53-man roster.

The Cowboys will definitely be better served by investing one of their 2023 late-round picks in a trade this year, rather than spending it on a rookie next year who might not even make final roster cuts.

The Cowboys should have an eye out for a veteran tackle, might be looking for an upgrade at backup QB, could be interested in a veteran wide receiver, and may be open to upgrades at other positions as well. Why not go and get the guys you want instead of sorting through what’s left after final roster cuts?

Work those phones, Stephen Jones!

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