The NFL draft and beginning of free agency may be behind the Dallas Cowboys, but that doesn’t mean big trades or moves aren’t possible.
Look at the Cowboys’ NFC East rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. When the New York Giants released corner James Bradberry, Philly entered the race and added a starting veteran corner after the draft.
A similar opportunity may be opening up for Dallas: defensive end Robert Quinn could be on the move from the Chicago Bears. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora recently stated that Quinn is continuing to ask for a trade.
Inside the Star writer Rocky Garza Jr. addressed La Canfora’s report with a clear opinion: Dallas should make a move happen for the former Cowboys star.
“Despite the team adding Sam ‘De’ Williams and Dante Fowler to help fill the void of DE Randy Gregory, who the Cowboys failed to re-sign this offseason, the idea of adding former Cowboys DE Robert Quinn could elevate their pass-rush room immensely,” Garza Jr. wrote.
Quinn would certainly be a major addition, and it would mark the return of a player who succeeded in his previous stint with Dallas.
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Quinn Putting Together a Great Career
Since entering the league as the 14th overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, Quinn has been one of the preeminent pass rushers in football. Quinn crossed the 10-sack mark in just his second season in the league, and then followed with a 19-sack season for the St. Louis Rams in 2013, according to PFR.
But after three seasons with 10 or more sacks, Quinn faced injury and production issues in his final three seasons with the Rams, playing in 32 games over that span and totaling 17.5 sacks from 2014 to 2017.
A rebound season with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 didn’t exactly go as plan, but a second chance with the Cowboys in 2019 spoke for itself. Joining defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, Quinn was a key part of one of the best pass-rushing tandems in the NFL that season.
In his only season in Dallas, Quinn put up 11.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. Despite his output, Quinn kept on the NFL trail by joining the Bears, where he totaled 18.5 sacks in 2021 and earned first-team All-Pro honors and his third Pro Bowl selection of his career.
Can Cowboys Afford Quinn?
With 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith and the majority of the Cowboys draft class signed, Spotrac states that Dallas has about $10.9 million in cap space. Conversely, Quinn is set to be paid $12.9 million in 2022 per Spotrac.
Garza addressed Quinn’s cost when talking about the possibility of a trade. From his perspective, spending money on good players is something the Cowboys organization shouldn’t ever avoid.
“While some people would be quick to point out that bringing him on would limit the growth of DEs Dorance Armstrong or Williams, Quinn solves their pass-rushing need, and DC Dan Quinn wouldn’t have to enter the season with having to rely on those two so quickly. Additionally, I get that his price tag may be too ‘high’ for some fans, but if you want to win in this league, you got to spend money on big players.”
La Canfora described Quinn’s performance for his salary as a “steal,” as well. That being said, any move for Quinn would require moves/cuts elsewhere. Dallas could make it happen, but there’s more than one step to righting the salary cap after an addition like this.