Cowboys Advised to Trade Offensive Lineman Before NFL Deadline

Joe Looney

Getty Joe Looney

Bleacher Report believes the Dallas Cowboys should be sellers — not buyers — at the NFL trade deadline.

Compiling a list of players every team must shop prior to Tuesday, BR columnist Kristopher Knox argues that Dallas can safely part ways with reserve offensive lineman Joe Looney, interest in whom likely is limited to playoff contenders.

Knox writes:

The Browns aren’t in the market for an interior offensive lineman, but other teams could be. The Patriots, for example, lost starting center David Andrews before the season. This is precisely why the Dallas Cowboys should check out the market for backup center Joe Looney.

Looney started all 16 games in place of Travis Frederick in 2018 after Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. Frederick is now healthy, though, and has started all seven games for Dallas.

While it’s great to have offensive line depth, Looney has proved himself a capable starter and therefore has trade value. He’s also in the final year of his contract, meaning Dallas may not have him on the depth chart beyond this season.

A 2012 fourth-round pick of the 49ers, Looney is in his fourth year with the Cowboys. He’s appeared in 55 games over that span, mostly as a backup. But Looney was a 16-game starter last season, the replacement for Travis Frederick, as mentioned.

Considering Dallas is known as the NFL O-line factory, another club could jump at the opportunity to siphon some of their talent.

Looney, 29, is making $1 million in base salary for 2019 and counts $1.625 million against the Cowboys’ salary cap. He’s slated to hit unrestricted free agency next March.

The NFL trade deadline expires at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

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Jerry Discloses Possibility of Blockbuster Trade

One year ago Tuesday, the Cowboys sent a first-round draft pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper. A year later, the team doesn’t envision an encore maneuver.

“It’s probably not even in the same universe as the likelihood that we would do something like Amari or frankly anything close to that,” owner Jerry Jones said Tuesday, via The Athletic.

If the Cowboys eschew a trade, it won’t be for lack of funds. The team currently has $25.058 million in available salary cap space, eighth-most in the NFL. For all intents and purposes, they could assume almost anyone purportedly on the block.

Their biggest need arguably is at safety, where they can improve on incumbent starter Jeff Heath opposite Xavier Woods. The rumor mill has linked the team to New York Jets stud Jamal Adams, though it’s unlikely even a hapless organization like Gang Green parts with a young, ascending star.

Dallas also may look to pick up some offensive line depth, as left tackle Tyron Smith (ankle), right tackle La’el Collins (knee), and right guard Zack Martin (back) have each battled injury this season. For what it’s worth, prior to Week 7, Bleacher Report proposed a Cowboys-Seahawks trade involving Seattle OT George Fant.

READ NEXT: Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones Hints at New Contract for Coach Jason Garrett

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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