Taking to Twitter in the wake of the Dallas Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to the Rams, former New York Jets general manager and current ESPN NFL analyst Mike Tannenbaum suggested Dallas trade All-Pro guard Zack Martin to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz.
“While it’s rare & highly unusual for trades among rivals; given the recent developments of injuries to Blake Jarwin and Philly’s OL (Brooks, Dillard & Johnson) & Ertz’s apparent contract issues (along with Goedert’s development) a Zach Martin for Ertz trade would help both teams,” Tannenbaum tweeted.
Casting aside the fact that player-for-player deals are rare, and trades between division rivals even rarer, there isn’t a single team swapping a stud offensive lineman for a stud tight end. Jerry Jones would hang up on Philadelphia GM Howie Roseman at the mere mention of Martin’s name, despite the season-ending injury to TE Blake Jarwin.
Whereas Martin is arguably the best player among the front-five, Jarwin was the distinct fourth option in a passing attack that features Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.
Now, for the financial ramifications. Shipping away Martin, who inked an $84 million extension in 2018, would trigger a whopping $22 million dead-money hit. The Cowboys would then need to assume Ertz’s $42.5 million pact and $12.481 million 2020 cap number. Bad business.
All to do, what, incrementally improve quarterback Dak Prescott’s weapon chest while significantly weakening his protection?
This idea doesn’t warrant additional keystrokes. A Zack-for-Zach trade isn’t happening — not in Madden or real life, not now or ever.
Tannenbaum is the same prognosticator, fired by the Jets and Miami Dolphins, who claimed Prescott would sign a 10-year, $400 million contract this offseason. So … yeah. That should tell you everything.
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
McCarthy Critiques Prescott’s Performance
In praising Prescott’s opening-day effort, Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy mentioned everything but his quarterback’s actual stats.
“I thought he was in great command. The communication, the adjustments,” McCarthy told reporters Wednesday, via The Athletic. “He kept us in clean plays throughout the game. I thought his awareness in the pocket was really good. … I thought he had a good game. I was pleased with his performance.”
Prescott was the definition of “solid yet unspectacular” amid the team’s Week 1 defeat. He completed 64% of his passes for 266 yards (6.8 yards per completion), one touchdown, and no interceptions — good for a 92.5 QB rating.
Although Dallas’ offense came out swinging, scoring twice in the first half, the unit went into a shell thereafter, netting just a field goal in the second half. Three-and-outs were a common occurrence throughout the evening as Los Angeles dominated the time of possession battle (35:38 to 24:22).
Prescott was a primary culprit. Per ESPN’s Ed Werder, his 14.3% completion rate on third down (1-of-7 for 11 yards) was the worst in any game of Prescott’s five-year career. Conversely, the Rams were 9-of-17 on third down en route to 422 total yards.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL