September 19, 2020

Cowboys Aren’t Trading For Ertz; Delanie, Clay & 6 Real Free-Agent Ideas

It may only be Week 1 of the 2020 NFL season, but it is never too early to start looking for upgrades to your roster. … especially an underwhelming season-opener left the Dallas Cowboys saddled with a trio of important injuries.

READ MORE: Rams Upend Cowboys, 20-17: 10 ‘Whitty’ Observations

Now, “upgrades” don’t mean “foolishness.” They mean a combination of our speculative thoughts and sourced information from inside The Star. 

Therefore, we can dismiss the thought of former NFL GM Mike Tannenbaum that a Dallas trade of All-Pro guard Zack Martin to Philadelphia for unhappy tight end Zach Ertz makes any sense … And we can tell you factually what the Cowboys think of Earl Thomas.

Linebackers

The Cowboys are losing Leighton Vander Esch for as long as two months after he sustained a broken collarbone in the 20-17 loss at the Los Angeles Rams. 

READ MORE:Cowboys Injury Update: Vander Esch Collarbone Surgery

Among the current free agents we think they should consider outside linebacker Clay Matthews and Mychal Kendricks.

Matthews may be the wrong side of 34, but last season while with the Rams he still managed 13 starts, recording 11 quarterback hits and eight sacks. And of course before that, he starred in Green Bay under Mike McCarthy, now coaching in Dallas.

Kendricks, 29, will have to convince a team that his injury and his legal issues are behind him. But he was a full-time starter for Seattle in 2019.

Defensive Tackle

Dallas can rush the passer. But the work of the interior D-line in L.A. wasn’t good enough. Enter (in our minds), Damon ‘Snacks’ Harrison, the best available free agent. The 31-year-old former All-Pro had a decent 2019 season, appearing in 15 games for the Detroit Lions. He would be a particularly good addition given his skill as a run stuffer.

The Harrison family is living in DFW and he’s in shape. He’s one of the best run-stuffers of his generation. … still waiting for a call from the Cowboys – a call that as of 2:15 p.m. Monday has not been made.

Safety

Safety has long been a tough hole to fill for the Cowboys. The impression left with our Mike Fisher …

READ MORE: That Earl Thomas To Cowboys Story? ‘You’re Wasting Your Time

… is that Earl Thomas isn’t getting the call. We know that the Cowboys have habitually passed on the idea of Eric Reid, 28, a former Pro Bowler who was a Carolina Panthers’ starter for all 16 games in 2019 … but we’re not sure why.

Dallas continues to hang onto the idea that “just anybody” can be plugged in at safety. The Cowboys will likely shuffle some candidates around from their own roster … which features a few too many “just anybodies.”

Tight End

The Cowboys love Blake Jarwin because of his ability to stretch the field as a true threat. He’s now out for the year with a knee injury sustained in L.A.

READ MORE: Dallas Devastation: The 4 Chapters Of Cowboys Loss To Rams

Delanie Walker is 36, but his resume – a season with 1,000 yards, a season with seven touchdowns – tells us he’s worth a look.

Ertz, by the way, is a fine player. But Dallas’ salary-cap “pie” isn’t baked in a way that would fit a tight end wishing to double/triple his salary … and no logic fits when the suggestion is about sacrificing the best guard in football.

Offensive Line

The Cowboys’ “tricky” experiment with rookie Terence Steele starting at right tackle in L.A. was not especially a success. Nor was the continuing work of left guard Connor Williams. Oh, and Cam Erving got hurt, too.

Fish has often used this space to tout the readiness of 31-year-old former Dallas starter Ronald Leary. An eight-year veteran with 77 starts to his name, a workhorse, a DFW resident who CowboysSI.com is told would love to rejoin the Cowboys … We’ll argue that he’s better than Connor Williams today.

We’ll certainly bet Aaron Donald will not rag-doll Ronald Leary.

As COO Stephen Jones likes to say, “talent acquisition is a 24/7 business.” Dallas Cowboys fans have reason to hope that’s the case with their team this week.

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