Did the Dallas Cowboys Miss Opportunity to Improve at Trade Deadline?

Jason Henry@thenprojectCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tashard Choice #23 of the Dallas Cowboys is tackled by Kyle Arrington #24 of the New England Patriots on October 16, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Today the NFL trade deadline came and went without any noise from the Dallas Cowboys. Hmm, that rhymes. At any rate, the Cowboys made no moves after team owner Jerry Jones said that he would entertain offers for running back Tashard Choice. But after Felix Jones went down with an ankle injury, Jones said that trading Choice away was doubtful.

There was also a rumor that tight end Martellus Bennett would be traded, but no move was made. So the same team that Dallas trotted out to play the Patriots on Sunday evening is virtually the same team we’ll see on Sunday—sans a player or two—to play the Rams. No trades to send away a disappointing tight end or a running back who never quit lived up to his potential.

But did the Cowboys miss the boat on making a deal to improve their team? I say no.

A few years ago, Jerry made a knee jerk-type of trade by acquiring wide receiver Roy Williams from the Detroit Lions for a first, third, and sixth-round draft pick. That didn’t work out so well for Dallas, as Williams was released in the offseason and picked up by the Chicago Bears.

Dallas does have issues, as represented by their three losses, but it’s not necessarily something that a new player can fix. Adding a new running back to supplement Tashard Choice would be great, but what will it matter if the Cowboys are horrible running the ball? Currently the ‘Boys rank 27th in the league in rushing, and there is no indication that it will improve.

The offensive line is still trying to gel, and with a season-ending ankle injury to guard Bill Nagy, it will be tough for the line to find continuity with so many moving pieces.

The defensive secondary is still a work in progress, but with Rob Ryan’s new defensive scheme, it's tough for quarterbacks to figure out what type of defense the Cowboys will toss their way. Dallas’ defensive line has improved from last season and the linebacking corp is being led by DeMarcus Ware and new-guy-on-the-block Sean Lee.

So, from my perspective, the Cowboys did right by staying put during the trade deadline, as there just wasn’t much the team could do; plus, they were sort of hamstrung by injuries.

Another added component to this will be the contract situations of Choice and Bennett. Both are un-restricted free agents after this season and are likely to sign elsewhere thereafter. Should the Cowboys have attempted to upgrade due to the impending departure of both players? Did Jerry fail to pull the trigger because he’s fearful that he may cut his team off at the knees by trading away depth when so many players are injured?

Again—I say that Dallas did the right thing by staying put. No need to panic and make a trade that the team may regret down the road by sending off a player who may play well for them down the stretch.

The issue that Dallas has is a playcalling and failure to finish dynamic. I don’t think it's an issue with one player or a particular set of players. The Cowboys will be fine with the team they have, but with so many new pieces, the team is still showing signs of growth. As painful as the losing may be for some fans, there is reason to believe that the season may be turned around.

While no win is a gimme in the NFL, the Cowboys have the winless St. Louis Rams on Sunday, a reeling Eagles team in two weeks, and a Seahawks team who has no identity.

The Cowboys did right by not trading away Choice and Bennett, as they still have time to turn their season around.


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