Cowboys' Potential Trade, Cut Candidates After 2022 NFL Draft

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2022

Cowboys' Potential Trade, Cut Candidates After 2022 NFL Draft

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    Matt Patterson/Associated Press

    The Dallas Cowboys have a total of 92 signed players after the 2022 NFL draft.

    After making nine picks in the NFL draft and signing around 20 undrafted free agents, this is most likely the largest the Cowboys roster will be in 2022. From here on out, it's more likely to contract than expand, and it isn't just those rookies who could be on the chopping block. 

    As camps and workouts start, the journey to cut the roster down to 53 will begin in earnest. 

    That process usually wields at least a few surprises. Whether it's through trades or outright releases, there are always some veterans who won't make those final cuts. 

    The draft and other offseason moves have shed some light on what the future may hold for some of those on the roster right now. Considering what the team has done and the general depth at their position, here are three Cowboys who could be trade or cut candidates as the offseason gives way to preseason. 

C/G Connor McGovern

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Cowboys used a third-round pick on interior offensive lineman Connor McGovern in 2019. Since then, he's made 14 starts and only given up four sacks, per Sports Info Solutions

    Still, the Cowboys' moves this offseason don't seem to point toward a starting role for McGovern. The team let Connor Williams walk in free agency, which would have opened the door for him to start at left guard. However, the team using the 24th pick on Tyler Smith once again throws that into question. 

    Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed with Jon Machota of The Athletic that the long-term plan for Smith is to play left tackle, but he could compete at left guard right now. 

    If the Cowboys are confident enough in Smith that he can become a franchise left tackle, then it stands to reason they believe he can start at guard right away. That leaves McGovern as a backup once again. 

    He's in the final year of his rookie contract. So while he only accounts for $2.8 million, the Cowboys might be willing to deal him if a team is willing to part with a pick to get him. 

Edge Tarell Basham

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    There aren't a lot of veterans on the Cowboys roster who could save the team money if they were cut before June 1. Tarell Basham is one of the few. He's in the final year of the two-year contract he signed in 2021, and the team will save $1.75 million if they cut him loose now. 

    The selection of Sam Williams in the second round might have been an early indication that's on the horizon. 

    The Cowboys failed to bring back Randy Gregory in free agency, but he was replaced by Dante Fowler Jr. With DeMarcus Lawrence on the other side and Micah Parsons playing a part-time role on the edge, that makes Basham's fit and role in the unit unclear. 

    The team's financial commitment to Dorance Armstrong is the worst news for Basham. They handed him a two-year $12 million contract that commits more money to him than they did Basham and ensures he'll be on the roster this season. 

    So Basham appears to be the odd man out despite starting six games and notching 3.5 sacks last season.

DT Trysten Hill

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    Despite finishing in the bottom third of the league in yards allowed per rush, the Cowboys didn't do too much to change their group of defensive tackles. 

    Last year was a bit of a revolving door on the interior. Osa Odighizuwa played the biggest share of the snaps on the inside at 53 percent, per Pro Football Reference. Carlos Watkins was next at just 38 percent. 

    In his third season with the team, Trysten Hill logged just 14.9 percent of the reps. 

    The Cowboys clearly didn't prioritize changing it up despite the questionable production. They re-signed Watkins and drafted 6'6" 320-pound John Ridgeway in the fifth round. That might be all it takes to push Hill off the roster, though. 

    Through injuries and performance, Hill has only been on the field for 18 games with five starts in three years. He was also suspended for one game after a post-game altercation with Las Vegas Raiders guard John Simpson. 

    Hill has had three years to establish himself at a shallow position for the Cowboys. He hasn't done it yet, and now he may give way to Ridgeway.