As suggested by Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, the Cowboys should consider making a trade for Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen. Ballentine argues that Dallas could upgrade at the linebacker position due to their lack of depth outside of Leighton Vander Esch,
“The Cowboys have few holes defensively, but if you are going to nitpick, they could stand an upgrade at linebacker. Leighton Vander Esch is fine, but the depth behind him is questionable,” writes Ballentine. “The jury is still out on Damone Clark, and the Cowboys have resorted to moonlighting safety Markquese Bell as a linebacker. That’s not necessarily new for a Dan Quinn-coached defense, but it doesn’t leave a lot of room for injury at the position.”
Why the Cowboys Could Make Trade for Patrick Queen
Queen is off to a strong start to his fourth season, posting 19 tackles, a tackle for loss, a sack and two quarterback hits. His 19 tackles rank second on the team. Through four seasons, Queen holds career totals of 340 tackles, 29 tackles for loss, 29 quarterback hits, 11 sacks, five fumbles forced and four fumble recoveries in 52 starts.
The LSU product has already led the Ravens in tackles in two of his three seasons, notching a 106-tackle season during his rookie campaign in 2020 along with posting a 117-tackle season in 2022.
According to Pro Football Focus, the 24-year-old has posted an 80.6 defensive grade, an 82.4 run defensive grade and a 75.5 pass-rushing grade through the first two games of the season. By comparison, the Cowboys’ top-ranked linebackers have posted lower grades. Vander Esch has posted a 68.6 defensive grade, a 68.9 run defensive grade and 58.2 pass-rushing grade, with Markquese Bell posting a 73.9 defensive grade and 79.2 run-defensive grade.
Why Ravens Would Benefit From Patrick Queen Trade
Outside of the Cowboys’ potential desire to upgrade at the linebacker position, Queen appears to be entering potentially his last season in Baltimore. The former first-round draft pick had his fifth-year option declined by the Ravens and drafted Trenton Simpson in the third round of this year’s draft.
Queen is in the final year of his four-year, $12 million rookie contract.
As Ballentine mentions, the Ravens could flip Queen in exchange for a draft pick before the trade deadline on October 31.
“However, the Ravens have not really committed to Queen,” writes Ballentine. “They declined his fifth-year option and drafted Trenton Simpson in this year’s draft. He makes sense as the natural successor to the 24-year-old. The Ravens are likely to get a nice compensatory pick if they wait and just let Queen walk in free agency. However, the Cowboys might want to investigate getting proactive and seeing if a pick a year earlier is of interest to Baltimore.”
Considering the Cowboys have already pulled off several major trades this year, including deals for Stephon Gilmore, Brandin Cooks and Trey Lance, it’s clear that Dallas is all-in on winning a Super Bowl this season. Pulling off a deal for a viable starter — and a clear upgrade — in Queen, could be the “final piece” towards making the Cowboys into an excellent defensive unit, as Ballentine explains.
“He could be the final piece to an excellent defense,” writes Ballentine.