Insider Updates Cowboys’ Chances to Trade for Pro Bowl Tackle

Mike McCarthy

Getty The Cowboys likely won't be able to acquire Texans LT Laremy Tunsil.

The Dallas Cowboys need a new left tackle.

Following Tyron Smith’s severe knee injury suffered during practice earlier in the week, the Cowboys will be without their eight-time Pro Bowler until at least December. That leaves Dallas with a major void at one of their most important positions, blocking franchise quarterback Dak Prescott’s blindside.

While the Cowboys will certainly be on the hunt for a veteran left tackle via free agency or trade, one option they’ll have to give up on is Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil. According to a report from Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network, the Texans will not trade their franchise left tackle to the Cowboys — or anyone else.

“Laremy Tunsil not expected to be made available to the Dallas Cowboys or any other team, per league sources, for multiple reasons, especially his quality of play as one of the Texans’ top two players, and huge dead money that would be created by a prospective trade,” reported Wilson on Thursday, August 25.


Why Texans Will Not Trade Tunsil to Cowboys

Trading the 28-year-old right now — who still has two years left on his deal — would result in a dead cap hit of over $16 million in each of the next two seasons, per Spotrac.

That has to be disappointing news for the Cowboys, considering Tunsil’s pedigree. Not only is the veteran tackle four years younger than Smith — and would represent as a possible replacement moving forward — he’s a two-time Pro Bowler.

According to Pro Football Focus, Tunsil posted a 75.2 pass-blocking grade last season in five games last season. The six-year veteran was sidelined for the majority of the season after undergoing thumb surgery. However, he ranked 28th among all tackles who saw at least 200 snaps last season.

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Cowboys Could Turn to ‘In-House’ Options

With Tunsil out of the equation, the Cowboys will reportedly turn to “in-house” options to replace Smith at left tackle. Dallas selected rookie Tyler Smith with a first-round draft selection with the idea he’d eventually replace the elder Smith. Tyler has lined up as the team’s starting left guard during training camp and preseason.

The Cowboys could also turn to Matt Waletzko and Josh Ball — zero combined career snaps among them — at left tackle.

Via Josina Anderson of CBS Sports:

“On replacing #Cowboys LT Tyron Smith (avulsion fracture, knee) I’m told the team is turning to in-house players, while working through options on the free agent market after more cuts, per source,” said Anderson on Friday, August 26. “I’m told that doesn’t currently include Andrew Whitworth (retired), under contract.”

The Cowboys have also been linked to retired tackle Andrew Whitworth, who most recently played for the Los Angeles Rams during the 2021 season. Whitworth retired after Los Angeles won the Super Bowl and is currently working for Amazon’s broadcast crew for Thursday Night Football.

Whitworth hinted that the Cowboys may have interest in him during a recent Thursday Night Football broadcast.

“I mean, obviously there’s been some things with the Cowboys and losing Tyron Smith was an awful deal, such a great player and guy, I’ve always just loved watching him play,” said Whitworth. “But it’s been a busy day of answering calls, the problem is they’re calling and texting the wrong person; they need to be texting and calling Melissa Whitworth and the kids ’cause they have final approval on whether I’m ever gonna play football again for sure.”

Whitworth would later clarify that the Cowboys did not directly reach out to him; instead, they were reporters from national and Dallas reaching out.

While the Cowboys’ options may not be as desirable as they hoped for, Dallas should absolutely target a veteran left tackle rather than simply relying on three inexperienced options at their most important position on the offensive line.

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