The NFL’s trade deadline for 2019 is a little over 24 hours away; 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 29th. If the Dallas Cowboys do have any big moves in mind before the window closes, our writers have come up with our own wish list for potential trade targets.
Dallas already made on trade last Thursday, giving up a future late-round pick to get Defensive Lineman Michael Bennett from the Patriots. But while Bennett will be a strong replacement for Tyrone Crawford and could help this year, he isn’t going to be a game-changing like Amari Cooper was in 2018.
That’s what this article is about; can the Cowboys add someone before tomorrow’s deadline that could make a major impact on the rest of the season?
Here are some guys that our writers thought of. Included are my own thoughts on the feasibility of the trade and if the cost would be the worth the gains.
DT Geno Atkins (Bengals)
John Williams – A name that I’d be interested in taking a look at is Cincinnati Bengals Defensive Tackle Geno Atkins. He’s become much more than just a run defender and has joined the ranks of Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox as an elite interior defensive lineman. With the Bengals season going the way it has, they may look to acquire picks for one of their best players.”
Mauricio Rodriguez – The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-7 and are officially done for the season. Heading into the trade deadline, they’re going to be sellers. While many might think of WR A.J. Green, I’d be looking right at DT Geno Atkins. The Cowboys have struggled at the position as they’ve been constantly beaten in the trenches. That problem has impacted the play of the linebackers as well, giving the Cowboys’ run defense some serious issues. Dallas ranks 20th in Football Outsiders’ defensive DVOA and 17th in rushing defense DVOA.
Atkins would be huge upgrade for the Cowboys defensive line both in run defense and as a pass rusher, where Atkins has been successful in the past few years. Having a DL with Quinn, Lawrence and Atkins is an idea I’m sure Cowboys fans can get behind.
While I completely agree with the idea that the Bengals should be on a fire sale, the problem is that Atkins’ base salaries jump from $8 million now to $11-$12 million over the next three years. He turns 32 next March and his effectiveness could nosedive at any point.
Granted, trading for Geno would leave most of the guaranteed money in Cincinnati. Dallas could easily cut Atkins at any point once his salary outweighed his performance.
But the Cowboys also just spent a second-round pick to pick up Trysten Hill. Trading anything of significance for Atkins would be a multi-year commitment, and would essentially block Hill from moving into a large role over the next few seasons.
TE O.J. Howard (Buccaneers)
Brian Martin – In all honesty, if the Dallas Cowboys are going to trade for any player I want it to be one who can contribute beyond this season. I’m not interested in a one year rental. With that in mind, I’d like to see them trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard.
He’s pretty much become an afterthought in Bruce Arians offense, but could become the future at the position for the Cowboys. Dallas can get 2 ½ seasons out of him if they exercise his fifth year option as a former first-round pick before having decide his long-term future with the organization. He is exactly the kind of complete TE they’re looking for to take over for Jason Witten.
If Dallas could land Howard for anything less than a future first-round pick then I’d be in favor. He does offer a significant talent leap from Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, or anyone else Dallas might acquire using picks down the road.
But one issue I would have with this move now is the same issue that I’m having with the Cowboys’ low usage of Jarwin. Would they be able to utilize O.J. Howard enough to impact 2019 or even 2020 as long as Jason Witten is still playing?
Unless Dallas can commit to using Howard’s talent as a featured offensive player, and putting Witten in a secondary role, then I’d rather they use their draft capital to acquire more immediately impactful talent.
DT Gerald McCoy (Panthers)
Matthew Lenix – I’d like to see the Cowboys trade for DT Gerald McCoy. Not only can he provide pressure up the middle against the pass but he can help with a run defense that has struggled some in Dallas. A trio of himself, Maliek Collins and Antwaun Woods could be very formidable
This may be a more realistic and practical move from trading for Atkins. Not only is McCoy’s base salary this year just $3 million but he is a free agent after 2019.
The issue I see here, though, is that I doubt the Panthers would want to let him go. Carolina is 4-3 and still competing for the playoffs, and McCoy is leading all of their defensive linemen right now in total snap counts this year.
If McCoy was still on the 2-5 Bucs, then I could see Dallas prying him away for a later draft pick and it being a worthwhile deal. But given where the Panthers currently stand this year, I doubt they’d give Gerald away for anything that Dallas would be willing to offer.
S Jamal Adams (Jets)
John Williams – Even though the talk has died down a lot in the last several weeks, I’d still be very much for the Dallas Cowboys making a call to the New York Jets for Jamal Adams. As we saw in the Cowboys week six loss, Adams was a difference maker throughout. Whether in coverage, playing the run, and rushing the passer, Adams was all over the field that Sunday.
Tough to be practical here because, by all means, I’d love to see Dallas make this move. Adams is a truly special talent, as a sixth-overall pick should be, and the type of guy that the Cowboys may not have an opportunity to draft for a while.
But even though the Jets are a hopeless 1-6 right now in 2019, giving away players like Adams isn’t going to help. They still have another year left on his rookie deal and then the fifth-year option in 2021.
I don’t think New York would trade away Jamal Adams without a king’s ransom, and likely more than Dallas can afford to give up. The Cowboys are going to be reliant on strong drafting to keep the roster solvent once they start paying Dak Prescott franchise QB money, and they can’t do that if they give up a load of picks.
So sure, offer a single first-round pick to see if the Jets would bite. Maybe even throw in a third or fourth. But I doubt that will be enough, and then I have to question if any non-QB is worth multiple high picks.