Cowboys Urged to Sign Beloved Ex-Browns Star in Free Agency: ‘Bargain Deal’

Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones interacts with fans before a game.

Training camp is right around the corner for the Dallas Cowboys, and the team is still being linked to big moves in free agency.

Besides potential trade moves for names like Atlanta Falcons LB Deion Jones, Dallas has also been connected to free agents like LB Anthony Barr and WR Julio Jones. However, no major names have joined up with the Cowboys.

Now, Sports Illustrated writer Logan MacDonald is throwing out former Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter as an idea. Tretter is a proven veteran in the NFL with eight seasons under his belt and 90 career starts.

“It’s a wonder that this move hasn’t already been made,” MacDonald writes. “When Dallas drafted Tyler Smith over Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in April, it was met with questions and criticism. Dallas center Tyler Biadasz isn’t incompetent by any means, but…”

Biadasz is coming off a full season as the Cowboys’ starting center, but his performances have not completely convinced Dallas fans. If the Cowboys are interested in upgrading at center or, at the very least, providing a legit competitor for Biadasz, Tretter would be a great option.

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Tretter Excels with Browns

When coming out of college, Tretter didn’t have a massive reputation due to his position and also his college ball being played at Ivy League school Cornell. However, the Green Bay Packers saw something worth investing in with Tretter and drafted him in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft.

That being said, Tretter didn’t walk into a starting job in Green Bay and actually missed his rookie season with injury. According to PFR, Tretter totaled 10 starts in his four seasons with the Packers, seven of those starts coming in the 2016 season that ended prematurely with a knee injury.

The switch to Cleveland was essentially night and day, as Tretter did not miss a single snap from 2017 to 2020 and only missed one game in 2021. But with one year left on his second deal with the Browns, the AFC North team elected to release Tretter to save money and move on from the 31-year-old center.

Cowboys May Have Issue with Tretter

In MacDonald’s writeup about the Cowboys and Tretter, he suggests that the center’s position as the NFLPA president could be a problem.

“Tretter is also a solid run blocker as well and would provide Dallas with a stud in the middle of the offensive line. What’s the issue? Some speculate that his NFLPA involvement is a factor, which seems wildly unfair. Could the Cowboys get a bargain deal?” MacDonald writes.

In March of 2020, Tretter won the election to become the NFLPA’s president, which led to him being an integral part of the discussions for the new CBA agreement that began in 2020 and is going through 2030.

He was also a major factor in the determination of COVID-19 policy in the league, but these credits may be detractors. As a representative of the NFLPA, it has been Tretter’s job to directly combat the interests of NFL owners like Cowboys boss Jerry Jones.

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