Time is running out if the Dallas Cowboys want to make a significant move ahead of the NFL trade deadline on November 1. Heavy Sports has spent plenty of time suggesting ways for the front office to improve the underwhelming offense, but the Cowboys may have an opportunity to make the defense even nastier.
The Athletic’s Mike Jones and Jeff Howe outlined six trades the analysts would “love to see” prior to the deadline. One of the more intriguing trade proposals has the Cowboys landing star Broncos pass rusher Bradley Chubb in exchange for third- and fourth-round picks in the 2023 NFL draft.
This seems like a small price to pay for a 26-year-old defender who has earned an 81.8 grade from Pro Football Focus through the first seven weeks of this season. What is the catch for the Cowboys?
Chubb’s four-year, $27 million rookie contract has already ended and the pass rusher is playing on the team’s fifth-year option with a $12.7 million salary for 2022. The pass rusher will become a free agent in 2023 and will be looking for a lucrative long-term deal which the Cowboys would need to be willing to pay in order to justify a trade.
The Cowboys May Need to Lean on Defense Even More If Offense Does Not Improve
The Cowboys have bigger needs than the team’s pass rush, so what would be the rationale in making a blockbuster move for Chubb? Dallas is averaging just 19.1 points per game, which ranks 22nd in the league. The Cowboys may need to lean even more on their defense as the playoff race heats up.
Chubb is on pace to post some of the best numbers of his career notching 24 tackles, eight quarterback hits, 5.5 sacks and two forced fumbles through his first seven appearances in 2022. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos have listened to calls about several of their key players, including Chubb.
“The Cowboys boast the league’s most tenacious defense, and Chubb might be the most dangerous defender on the trade block,” Howe detailed. “Dallas will remain as dangerous as Micah Parsons allows them to be, but the addition of Chubb would create yet another headache for opposing offenses. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn could build the pass rush around DeMarcus Lawrence, Dorance Armstrong and Chubb, then give Parsons even more freedom to move around.
“As for the Broncos, Chubb is still worth building around, but their defense will remain solid regardless and they need to recoup draft assets after the Russell Wilson trade. If they don’t believe Chubb will sign an extension after the season — or if they believe he’ll exceed their budget — it makes sense to move him now.”
The Cowboys Are Behind the Eagles in the NFC East Arms Race
Dallas made a small move by acquiring veteran defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins from the Raiders, but their NFC East foes in Philadelphia have already been more aggressive by landing former Cowboys pass rusher Robert Quinn in a deal with the Bears. The Eagles appear to be open to more moves as well with just days to go before the deadline concludes. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy admitted he was not thrilled to find out Quinn landed with the already-potent Eagles.
“Well, that was mixed feelings. I was obviously happy about it [not to play Quinn vs. Bears in Week 8] and then when I found out where he went I said, ‘oh okay, so,'” McCarthy told reporters on October 27 when asked about the Quinn trade. “No, we have a lot of respect for Robert and always have.
“I just remember when he came into the league with the Rams in St Louis, just a very gifted player. Had a chance to visit with him briefly when I first arrived here, and he obviously went on to Chicago. But no, it’s not going to change the way they [Bears] play. They’re not going to change their defense, so our approach won’t change.”