The Dallas Cowboys weren’t involved in any trade activity ahead of the recent deadline, at least none that came to fruition.
While they were smack in the middle of trade rumors, no new face joined the roster before the window shut.
As it turns out, however, the Cowboys came close to acquiring Houston Texans receiver Brandin Cooks, who appeared to have wanted out and seemed keen on getting traded.
According to Sports Illustrated, they were informed by a source that a deal to land Cooks was well advanced, with both teams actively involved in discourse right up to the deadline.
The player’s $18 million guaranteed salary for 2023 created an impasse, and the deal ultimately fell apart.
A source is said to have claimed things were “complicated,” with money thought to be the main stumbling block. The Texans would have to help the Cowboys out with the player’s deal or restructure it in order to get a deal over the line. They would have had to take on $8.782 million in dead money this year and $16.22 million in more dead money next year had they made the trade. That would leave them with just $967,533 in net cap savings this year and $10.398 in 2023. It’s why they wanted a second-rounder and more, which Dallas did relent to. But neither party was able to find a solution to other financial hindrances before time ran out.
The receiver has made 32 catches for 354 yards and a touchdown so far this season and leads the struggling Texans in both departments. Meanwhile, the Cowboys have formidable receivers in their squad but have struggled to get the expected production out of them this season. They are averaging the sixth-fewest passing yards so far this term with 190.6 per game, and none of their catchers have gone past the 100-yard mark as yet.
One does have to consider that Dak Prescott has missed five games with injury, but he’s been back for two games since and could still do a lot better as the Cowboys look to silence their detractors.
They also considered DJ Moore of the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos receiver Jerry Jeudy yet it seems like Cooks was their only serious target.
The Cowboys have a very manageable schedule through November. They will play the struggling Green Bay Packers in their next game, following their bye week, before facing the Minnesota Vikings.
They will have what could be a very interesting one against fellow NFC East team, the New York Giants, who are doing surprisingly well this season and, like Dallas, are 6-2 at the moment. New Yorkers will certainly be flooding the bookmakers for this one, and a Fanduel New York promo code would come in pretty handy.
The game against New York is likely to be the most important one they play this month, but both teams will be hoping that the Philadelphia Eagles lose games before they clash. Otherwise, they will continue fighting for second place.
The Eagles are unbeaten at 7-0, and, ironically, the Cowboys will have to depend on Houston and a disgruntled Cooks to stop them in their next game. The pair of games after that will see Philly play the Washington Commanders and Indianapolis Colts.
In other news, despite not bringing anyone in before the deadline, the Cowboys did make a cut a few minutes after, having waived defensive tackle Trysten Hill.
Hill was inactive when Dallas beat the Chicago Bears last week but had played in all previous seven games this season. The Cowboys would have likely tried adding him to a trade package before the deadline but ended up simply releasing him.
A second-round pick in 2019, Hill didn’t meet expectations and also suffered a knee injury that brought his season to an end in 2020. Prescott suffered his ankle injury in that very game.
The 24-year-old only played six games last season, and the seven outings he made for Dallas this season mark the most he’s ever played in one season. He made 36 tackles and a half-sack during his career with the team.
The Cowboys are faced with more tough decisions, though they don’t have to act now. Running back Tony Pollard will be a free agent at the end of the season, a campaign in which he appears poised to set career highs in more than one category.
Pollard matched his season-high of 131 rushing yards set in 2021 and set another with his three TDs against the Bears on Sunday. He has already gotten 506 yards under his belt this season, which leaves him on pace to surpass the 719 he made last year. He’s also already reached a season-high for rushing TDs this season with five.
Dallas can enjoy him for now, as well as Ezekiel Elliot. Pollard is still on a rookie deal and only forces $1.1 million against the salary cap for this year.
However, that will soon cease to be the case, and the Cowboys will be made to decide who they want to keep.
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