Dallas is facing off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the second-straight season, and the primary focus on the organization has to be getting revenge for the 31-29 loss to start the 2021 season.
But Jerry Jones and the front office have a duty to improve the team whenever they can, and Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox predicted Dallas to be a potential suitor for Bears defensive end Robert Quinn.
“Four squads — Carolina, Cleveland, Dallas and Las Vegas — have more than $10 million in cap room available. Dallas and Las Vegas are the two that make the most sense for Quinn,” Knox wrote in a story published September 7. “Dallas could bring back Quinn, who played there in 2019, as a complement to DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons.”
Quinn was linked to the Cowboys after CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora speculated in May that Quinn wanted to leave Chicago and Dallas lost Randy Gregory to the Denver Broncos in March. He’s familiar with the team from his short stint in 2019, and Quinn could bring the Cowboys’ defensive line to a new level.
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Bears May Not Deal Quinn Quickly
While a move for Quinn would certainly make the Cowboys a better team, Dallas would likely have to wait its turn to acquire him. Knox wrote the the 32-year-old edge rusher is still with the Bears for the foreseeable future, at least that’s what his contract says.
“The Bears will be inclined to hang on to Quinn, who is under contract through 2024, for as long as it makes sense,” Knox wrote. “It will stop making sense if and when Chicago falls out of contention. Quinn, who logged a whopping 18.5 sacks last season, could draw a huge return on the trade market.”
In late July, Quinn said he wanted to stay in Chicago.
“I expect to be here but I guess if not, well, that’s out of my control,” Quinn told reporters. “I’m just going to take it day by day and have fun here with the guys and just let life take its course.”
Part of trading for Quinn is taking on his contract. Spotrac states that Quinn will earn $17.14 million this season, but he is also set for cap hits of $18.24 million and $17.24 million in 2023 and 2024 respectively.
Quinn has continued to produce, but making a move for the Bears star isn’t an end-of-contract mercenary job. Whoever moves for the Chicago defensive end will have to figure out his future after this season.
Cowboys Can Pull Off Trade, But Should They?
Dallas is in an interesting position: they can afford a major upgrade, but would it be worth the cost? The Cowboys currently have an estimated $12.58 million in cap space, according to Spotrac.
Micah Parsons and Demarcus Lawrence are already a great one-two combo as edge rushers, and the addition of Quinn would potentially mean someone has to take the backseat. Lawrence is on a three-year, $40 million contract, and Quinn is obviously earning more than that.
Setting the Cowboys’ lineup with those huge contracts in mind would mean playing Parsons less at defensive end and more at his native linebacker position. But after a Defensive Rookie of the Year performance in 2021, does it make sense to change his duties?
The final obstacle is the trade cost for Quinn. Besides taking on his salary, Dallas or any potential suitor would likely have to drop a high draft pick or two to land Quinn.
If the Cowboys end up needing another edge rusher, reuniting with Quinn is the best overall option. But in terms of value, it would be a major investment for an immediate return.