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The Cowboys could solve the backup running back issue, and other problems with this trade

Dallas needs to consider adding this dynamic weapon to their 2023 roster.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons Minicamp Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Although some may be reluctant to give credit to the Dallas Cowboys front office, they have had a terrific offseason. They were able to re-sign critical pieces on their defense by coming to terms with Leighton Vander Esch and Donovan Wilson. More importantly, they were able to retain Dan Quinn amidst interest elsewhere to stay in Dallas.

The team used the trade route to land receiver Brandin Cooks and corner Stephon Gilmore. They also had a solid draft to fortify their defensive interior and added more speed to one of the fastest defenses in the NFL. All in all, good building blocks en route to a pivotal 2023 season. Yet, something feels incomplete.

The team made a difficult decision, releasing Ezekiel Elliott this offseason, followed by signing Tony Pollard to his franchise tender of 10.1M. To supplement the position, the Cowboys signed free agent runner Ronald Jones and drafted Deuce Vaughn in the sixth round of April’s draft. Still, the team could use another weapon in the backfield. The Dallas Cowboys should seriously consider trading with the Atlanta Falcons in exchange for Cordarrelle Patterson.

Even at 32 years old, Patterson still has a lot to offer. Even in a reduced role last season, Patterson still managed 695 yards for 4.8 yards per carry in only thirteen games. Patterson is only two years removed from his best season as a pro when he had 1,168 yards from scrimmage for the Falcons.

Presently, Patterson’s future looks murky in Atlanta. The Falcons added Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick in April’s draft. Additionally, the Falcons have two other capable runners, Avery Williams, and Tyler Allgeier. Coupled with a Falcons organization looking to get younger across their roster, and Patterson finds himself in a precarious spot.

Recently, Bleacher Report suggested Patterson should be a trade candidate for the Falcons.

The 32-year-old is entering the final year of his contract, and the Falcons could save $4.3 million in cap space by trading him. While the return for Patterson wouldn’t be massive, Atlanta should be able to get a pick or player back from a team with less backfield depth.

With Algeier now a proven runner and Robinson able to do a lot of the things as a runner and receiver that Patterson does, the four-time All-Pro may simply be more valuable as a trade piece than a third-string option to Atlanta.

Others have already made the ‘Patterson trade to the Cowboys’ connection, even suggesting throwing Neville Gallimore in the mix. Patterson has even been considered a possible cap casualty.

...the Falcons will free up $4.25 million in cap space if they trade or release Patterson after June 1 (his $4.25 million base salary for 2023 isn’t guaranteed). Barring an alteration to his contract, Patterson’s status with the team will remain uncertain throughout the summer even if he remains on the roster and reports to training camp.

If the Cowboys were to add Patterson, he could seamlessly fit into their plans offensively. As a runner, he has excellent vision from the backfield and has a knack for squeezing into the tightest creases to find space in the running game. As a pass catcher, Mike McCarthy can devise several ways to involve him thanks to prior experience as a wide receiver. Patterson is also a good third-down running back because he is an adequate pass protector.

Furthermore, Patterson is historically one of the finest kick returners to ever play in the NFL. Patterson also has averaged 29.5 yards per return in his career. He has scored kickoff return touchdowns for four different organizations, the most recent with the Falcons last season.

Patterson could serve as an insurance policy for Tony Pollard if something were to go wrong, and also he could lighten the load for KaVontae Turpin if Turpin does take on a more prominent role in the scheme of the Cowboys.

As for compensation and how much it would take to acquire Patterson, it should be minimal. The Cowboys traded low draft capital to acquire two starters: Brandin Cooks and Stephon Gilmore. Undoubtedly, the compensation to acquire Patterson will be even less. Though still productive, Patterson is an older player, and the Falcons are running back rich now.

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