The Dallas Cowboys are no closer to acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick than they were a week ago, when they weren’t close at all.
Indirectly addressing the Miami Dolphins’ second-year defensive back, the subject of intense trade speculation, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones revealed Monday that the club would not surrender a first-round pick for Fitzpatrick, as the Dolphins are supposedly seeking.
“Can’t say that there is anyone right now that we’re looking at on any team that would warrant (trading) a first round pick that we think might be available,” Jones said, per The Athletic.
While Jones allowed that Dallas has demonstrated a proclivity for bringing in star talent at the cost of a top draft choice — look no further than the 2018 Amari Cooper trade — he essentially said Fitzpatrick isn’t worth such capital.
Jones, though, is partially responsible for opening this clam, instantly shaping the Cowboys as a top suitor for the No. 11 overall choice in last year’s draft. He’d already confirmed he spoke to Miami, presumably about Fitzpatrick, and subsequently did little to tamp down inevitable dot-connecting.
“We always . . . when you hear rumors, you get calls,” Jones said on Sept. 13, via Pro Football Talk. “You have conversations between myself, Jerry [Jones], Will [McClay]. We’re always checking around and seeing what’s going on. We have a pretty steady diet of visiting with other teams. We’re always trying to improve our roster.”
Checking into Jones’ remark, the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore reported the Cowboys indeed pinged Miami regarding Fitzpatrick, but the inquiry was due diligence, “not an aggressive pursuit,” and that they were “kicking the tires at this stage, nothing more.”
Interestingly, Fitzpatrick is represented by the same agent, Joel Segal, as Dallas defensive end Taco Charlton, who’s reportedly being dangled in trade negotiations, with the Cowboys targeting a player-for-player swap.
But, based on Jones’ update, assuming it’s genuine and not his way of posturing, which is certainly possible, the Cowboys are unlikely to mortgage the future for a player they may want but quite honestly don’t need.
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Cost of Acquisition and Where He’d Fit In
Aside from the compensation it’d take to land him — I floated Taco and a 2020 second-rounder for Minkah and a sixth — the Cowboys would have to absorb his four-year, $16.4 million contract, which includes cap hits of $3.738 million, $4.485 million and $5.233 million for 2019, 2020 and 2021, respectively.
Implausible as his addition may seem, Fitzpatrick would immediately slide into a starting role in Dallas’ secondary, perhaps replacing safety Jeff Heath opposite Xavier Woods. His addition would boost an already formidable secondary that boasts Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL