The Dallas Cowboys are under .500 this season, which likely has owner Jerry Jones believing it's time to see what the trade market is looking like.
Let's look at three realistic decisions America's Team could make before the league's trade deadline.
Trade for a Strong Safety
The Cowboys were thin at strong safety to start the year with the inexperienced Barry Church atop the depth chart. Now, Church is out for the year due to injury and the equally inexperienced Danny McCray has taken over at the position.
There was a reason for the heavy speculation that the Cowboys were going to take Alabama's Mark Barron during the 2012 NFL draft. It's an obvious position of weakness for this team that has only gotten weaker due to injury already this year.
When looking around the league, strong safety is not usually a position of depth for most teams. Still, there are some options Dallas could likely get its hands on. Veteran Chris Hope is currently the backup in Atlanta and could likely be brought in for a late-round draft pick.
Hope has started for both the Steelers and Titans over his career and only became a Falcon this year, so it's not as if the organization has a great amount of loyalty to the safety. He wouldn't be a long-term solution for Dallas, but he'd be an experienced band-aid to put on the field for now.
Other possible options are respective backups and former Eagles Sean Considine and Quintin Demps. Philadelphia cleaned house in their secondary in recent years for a reason, but again, both have more experience than McCray.
Hope would be the ideal option out of the three, but if Atlanta wouldn't relinquish him, Considine and Demps wouldn't be horrible consolations.
Trade CB Mike Jenkins
This wouldn't be Dallas' best decision at the deadline, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. It is widely known that Jenkins is in the last year of his contract and went from last year's No. 1 corner to this year's No. 3 or 4.
The Cowboys have tried to plug starting CB Brandon Carr at strong safety several times in certain schemes, bringing Jenkins onto the field at his usual spot. Depending on how much defensive coordinator Rob Ryan likes this wrinkle in his defense, it could decide whether Jenkins stays or goes.
Dallas saw against the Ravens just how fast a position can be depleted by the injury bug at running back and would be wise to apply that knowledge to corner. Still, Jones is still going to get calls from several teams in need of secondary help just as he did during this past offseason.
It all depends on how bad a team wants Jenkins and how good a package they offer the Cowboys. Jones showed over the offseason it has to be one heck of a package, but it's not as if his team doesn't have needs to fill. He has to pick up the phone when those teams call and make the deal if he gets the right offer.
No Trades At All
The NFL is not like the MLB or NBA—most trade deadlines come and go without any real moves happening. Dallas hasn't made a significant trade since the Roy Williams deal back in 2008.
Basically, the Cowboys haven't made a significant trade before the deadline in four seasons and the last time they did, they got burned. Jones spent a lot of his team's money during this past offseason's free agency, which was tallied as the most expensive in franchise history.
Dallas still has to pay the rest of that cap penalty from the 2010 uncapped season before next year. The team also wants to work out a contract extension with Tony Romo and likely others as well.
There's only so much money left to spend right now, and perhaps the savviest move the Cowboys could make is to just go to battle with what they already have the rest of this season.
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