The 2023 NFL Draft may be over, but there are still players out there who the Dallas Cowboys should go after to help complete the roster for the upcoming season. Whether it’s signing a few more free agents, or acquiring talent via trade, the Cowboys should start being aggressive in order to put together the best possible roster from top to bottom.
Today, we’re going to identify three moves the Cowboys should make to complete the roster for the upcoming 2023 season. There are two trades they should absolutely consider making, and a free agent signing that could be the solution to one of their biggest roster concerns right now.
DT Javon Kinlaw, San Francisco 49ers
It was not a surprise when the San Francisco 49ers decided against picking up Javon Kinlaw’s fifth-year option this year. Untimely and unfortunate injuries have plagued the former South Carolina DT throughout his career, so far limiting him to 14 games as a rookie in 2020 and only 10 (4 in 2021, 6 in 2022) over the next two seasons. His injury history definitely raises red flags as a buyer beware trade candidate, but is Pro Bowl upside (if healthy) might be worth the risk.
The Dallas Cowboys may have used their first-round pick on Mazi Smith to help upgrade their defensive line, but that in no way should keep them from continuing to improve their defensive front. Kinlaw could be a low-risk, high-reward type of trade that could do just that, even if it is just a one-year rental. And, a 2024 Day 3 pick could be all it takes.
The 6’5”, 320-ish pound DT would work nicely as a 3-technique in a rotation with Osa Odighizuwa in Dan Quinn’s 4-3 defensive scheme. Throw in Jonathan Hankins and Mazi Smith with the plethora of impressive pass rushers the Cowboys have at their disposal, and Dallas’ defensive line would immediately become one of the best in the entire league.
LB Isaiah Simmons, Arizona Cardinals
While the 49ers decision not to pick up Javon Kinlaw’s fifth-year option wasn’t a big surprise, the Arizona Cardinals deciding not to pick up Isaiah Simmons’ is definitely a head scratcher. It’s true they haven’t really been able to tap into his talent as of yet so far in his career as a versatile, hybrid defender, but he still is one of their better defenders. With his future in Arizona suspect, he could be a strong trade candidate for the Dallas Cowboys.
As things stand right now, Dallas’ depth at linebacker is somewhat of a concern. Other than Leighton Vander Esch and Damone Clark, the Cowboys have quite a bit of young and unproven players at the position. On top of that, more than half of them (LVE, Clark, Jabril Cox) have had some serious injury concerns the last few years. With that in mind, a player with Simmons’ talent and versatility could be worth investing in via trade.
At 6’3”, 238 pounds with 4.39 speed, Isaiah Simmons would bring more athleticism and versatility to the Cowboys defense. Dan Quinn could use them in a variety of different ways as either a traditional off-ball LB, pass rusher, or even as a Jayron Kearse-like safety. His addition if acquired via trade could add depth at several positions, thus opening up a roster spot or two for someone else. Sounds like a win-win for Dallas.
OL Isaiah Wynn
Despite his nearly annual trip to injured reserve so far in his professional career, the New England Patriots former 2018 first-round pick Isaiah Wynn is arguably the best offensive lineman remaining on the open market right now. In New England he accumulated starts at left tackle, left guard, and right tackle when healthy and could provide that same kind of versatility for a team like the Cowboys whose OL is unsettled.
Through free agency so far and the 2023 NFL Draft, the Cowboys have yet to add a surefire replacement for Connor McGovern at LG. Tyler Smith is probably the favorite to earn the gig, however, this year’s fifth-round draft pick Asim Richards and undrafted free agent T.J. Bass could compete for the job as well. While Dallas does have options currently on the roster, a player like Isaiah Wynn should definitely still be considered.
If signed, the former Georgia Bulldog could be a contender to start at LG from Day 1 with the Cowboys. The 6’2”, 310-pound lineman is probably better suited to play inside instead of outside at tackle. His addition could allow Tyler Smith to remain at LT and the duo of Terence Steele and Tyron Smith to solidify the right tackle position. Of course, Wynn’s addition hinges on his price tag and overcoming his health issues.