An Early Preview of the Dallas Cowboys' Trade Deadline Moves

Derek Gerberich@@thexsportsxguyCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2012

An Early Preview of the Dallas Cowboys' Trade Deadline Moves

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    After the absolute beat-down that the Dallas Cowboys took on Monday Night Football, a few things became clear.

    First, Tony Romo needs help.  The offensive line is porous, certain receivers don't run correct routes, and when they do, they fail to catch the football.

    Second, 2-2 feels much worse than 2-1.  Sure, it's the same team with the same problems that the 2-1 team had, but that 2-1 record just made everyone feel a bit warmer on the inside.  2-2 feels like taking a sip of water when you were expecting lemonade.

    Consequently, Jerry Jones and the Cowboys' front office need to think about the trade deadline.  The NFL trade deadline was pushed back to the end of Week 8 this season, and therefore falls on October 30th.

    That's less than four weeks away.

    Sounds like it's time to preview the options the Cowboys front office might be looking at by the eve of Halloween.

1. Upgrading the Offensive Line

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    The offensive line struggles of the Dallas Cowboys have been well documented.

    Tyron Smith?  Too many false starts.  Doug Free?  Inexplicably terrible.  New signings Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings?  Not making a difference.

    Offensive line coach Bill Callahan even gave his linemen an ultimatum before Monday night's showdown versus the Bears (as reported by Clarence Hill of Star Telegram):

    "There is nobody that takes more pride in protecting the passer than this group of guys. Talk is cheap. We have to go out there Monday and show people we got it right."

    Memo to Coach Callahan: You still didn't get it right.

    So what can the Cowboys do?  From a depth standpoint, not much.  The need for an offensive linemen is there, but the best route of finding one looks to be through the NFL draft.

    Murmurs have floated about possibly dealing Mike Jenkins for an offensive lineman before the deadline, but with the season ending Achilles injury to Barry Church, it doesn't seem to be a very likely possibility.

    Hang in there, Tony.

2. Re-Signing Tony Romo

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    It was first reported by ESPN's Ed Werder that the Cowboys had opened contract talks with Tony Romo about re-signing him this season.

    Making a move like this in mid-season (around the trade deadline) would allow the Cowboys to do some salary cap maneuvering for the upcoming years.  However, the initial report showed that Romo thought he might gain more leverage in the negotiations by the end of the season.  This of course, would be contingent on the play of Romo and the Cowboys throughout the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

    Interestingly enough (as reported by ESPN's Calvin Watkins) the negotiations were seemingly halted the morning after the Bears loss. 

    Was it the ownership, backing off after the Cowboys' debacle of a performance?  Was Romo still thinking about leverage to be gained?  Or, perhaps the team just didn't want another distraction?

    As the season progresses, this situation is certainly one worth keeping an eye on.

3. Trading Felix Jones

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    The Felix Jones trade rumors have been buzzing since the end of last season, and given his recent on-the-field performance, they aren't likely to stop anytime soon.

    Problem is, every other team in the league has been watching him play too.

    His trade value, initially considered rock-bottom when it was a mid-round draft pick, has gotten substantially worse.  At this point, the Cowboys could be better off just biting the bullet and letting another team take a chance on him in free agency after the season.

4. A Repeat of Recent History?

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    Stare decisis is a Latin term that is legalese for "to stand as already decided."

    The Cowboys recent history at the trade deadline suggests that this term is a good fit for their usual course of action.

    In 2009, the Cowboys decided to make no deadline moves.  2010 was the same result.  Last year brought stare decisis yet again.

    In fact, the Cowboys haven't made a trade deadline move since 2008.  That was when they shipped out three draft picks for the eternally-frustrating Roy Williams.

    Yikes.  That type of trade would cause any team to proceed with caution at the deadline.  Look for more of the same in 2012.