New Trade Scenario Has Cowboys Landing ‘Breakout’ Defensive Starter

Falcons edge rusher Steven Means

Getty Falcons edge rusher Steven Means

Dan Quinn imported two starting players (Keanu Neal, Damontae Kazee) from his Atlanta days after becoming the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator. There could be a third prior to the November 2 NFL trade deadline.

Citing the desire for more “flexibility” along the front-seven, Bleacher Report identified Falcons edge defender Steven Means as the “ideal trade target” for the 5-1 Cowboys — a potential pairing with team sack leader Randy Gregory and first-round rookie stud Micah Parsons.

“Steven Means doesn’t get much credit as a hard-nosed, get-after-it performer who can play both the run and pressure opposing quarterbacks, wrote BR analyst Brent Sobleski. “The 31-year-old also experienced a bit of a breakout when he became a starter for the Atlanta Falcons over the second half of the 2020 campaign.”

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Background on Means

A 2013 fifth-round pick out of Buffalo, the 6-foot-3, 263-pound defensive end has appeared in 55 games, making 20 starts, across seven professional seasons in four NFL cities (Tampa Bay, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta).

Means’ best year came in 2020 when he notched a career-high 38 tackles (21 solo) and three sacks over 11 starts for the Falcons. He also added six quarterback hits, three tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles under then-head coach Quinn.

As a collegian, Means, 31, totaled 87 solo tackles, 30.5 TFLs, 19.5 sacks, two interceptions, and one defensive touchdown. He was lauded for his reliability and versatility, able to produce in both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes.

“Aside from using a red shirt during his first year on campus Means has never missed a game. Not injury, grades, or the quality of his play has ever kept him from being a part of UB’s on field presence,” reads his SB Nation scouting profile. “Through four years, two head coaches, three defensive coordinators and as many line coaches Steven Means has been as reliable as gold. Forty eight straight games and forty three straight starts.”

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Dallas ‘Open for Business’ Ahead of Deadline. But …

With 11 days until trades become prohibited, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones proclaimed Friday the club is “open for business.” But, in the next breath, Jones intimated there’s a caveat which could prevent much outside business from taking place.

“We’re open for business year round. On the other hand, we got a unique situation because we’ve got players coming that we’re gonna have to have roster spots for,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, per The Athletic. “We got a little bigger problem than trading for somebody right now.”

The returning players whom Jones referenced include wide receiver Michael Gallup and defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Neville Gallimore, all of whom have been sidelined on injured lists.

On Thursday, Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones, seemingly adopting the same logic as his father, admitted there’s no prospective deal currently on the “front-burner.”

“Not at this point with anything on the front-burner. It’s always nice if there’s an opportunity out there…But at the same time, we have a lot of confidence in this roster,” Jones said on 96.7 The Ticket.


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Chris Gore
Chris Gore
1 month ago

What about DLaw tho?

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