Shocking Trade Ideas Cowboys Should Pursue Before 2022 Season

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2022

Shocking Trade Ideas Cowboys Should Pursue Before 2022 Season

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    Outside of a few notable free agents, the conventional ways to improve the Dallas Cowboys roster have all dried up. 

    The 2022 offseason has not necessarily been kind to the Cowboys. James Washington and Dante Fowler highlight the additions outside of the draft, while they lost Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, La'el Collins and Connor Williams. 

    That's definitely a net negative. 

    The offseason of loss started by trading Cooper for a fifth-round pick and a sixth-round pick swap. 

    Given what happened with the receiver market after that trade, it does not look like a good move for the Cowboys. They were motivated by the realities of the salary cap, but the return was still bad. 

    With Dallas' offseason starting with a shocking trade, it only makes sense it should explore another shocking trade to end the offseason. Here are three proposals that may be on the fringe of reality but would make some sense. 

Bring Back Robert Quinn

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    David Becker/Associated Press

    Cowboys fans got a brief look at what Robert Quinn brings to the table in 2019. The Cowboys traded for Quinn that year for a sixth-round pick.

    The then-29-year-old led the team in sacks with 11.5 that season before signing with the Chicago Bears in the offseason. 

    Fast-forward to 2022 and Quinn just doesn't make sense on the Bears roster anymore. Granted, he's still producing at a high level—he racked up a career-high 18.5 sacks last season. However, he's a 32-year-old pass-rusher who is set to cost the Bears $17.1 million this season. 

    The Bears are clearly in the middle of a rebuild. They traded away Khalil Mack this offseason and didn't bring back Allen Robinson II, allowing new general manager Ryan Poles to build the team in his image. 

    Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported Quinn wants out of Chicago. He would cost the team trading for him $13 million, so the Cowboys would need to do some cap gymnastics, but adding a rusher like Quinn could be the missing piece to contend for a Super Bowl. 

Reunite Dan Quinn and Deion Jones

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    The Atlanta Falcons' offseason moves have not pointed toward a team that plans on moving on from former Pro Bowl linebacker Deion Jones. 

    They have signed Rashaan Evans and Nick Kwiatkoski in free agency and drafted Troy Andersen. With Mychal Walker looking good in limited action on defense last year, the Falcons could part ways with Jones right now and still have more than enough options to play linebacker. 

    The Cowboys could still use more bodies. With Micah Parsons playing as a part-time edge rusher, the Cowboys' only veteran linebacker is Leighton Vander Esch, who is on a one-year deal at this point. 

    Dan Quinn was the architect of the Falcons' defense the last time Jones played at his best. Jones was a Pro Bowler in 2017 with Quinn serving as the team's head coach.

    The price would likely be low if the Cowboys are willing to take on Jones and his contract. With Damone Clark going through spinal fusion surgery, it's unclear whether he will play in 2022. 

    Jones would be worth a gamble if there's a chance Quinn can help him get his career back on track. 

Trade Tyron Smith

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    While the first two trades would help the team win in 2022, this one is about building for the future. 

    Tyron Smith has been an excellent leader and player for the Cowboys, but if they are ever going to deal him, then now is the time to do it. The 31-year-old has been named to the Pro Bowl in eight of the last nine seasons, but he's played in 13 games or less in each of those seasons. 

    Given his extensive history of getting banged up, it's fair to wonder how he'll age as he gets into his 30s. While Trent Williams has shown that elite linemen can continue being elite well into their 30s, it's important to remember that he's an exception to the rule. 

    Smith was the No. 2 ranked tackle in the league by PFF last season. 

    The Cowboys already drafted Smith's eventual replacement in Tyler Smith. There are a handful of veteran free agents who could serve as a stop-gap if the Cowboys were to decide to sell high on Smith, including Eric Fisher and Duane Brown. 

    Trading Smith now could bring back a sizable return and would make the team look pretty smart if Smith's injury history starts eating into his production.