Cowboys May Look to Trade Former Starter, Says Analyst

Connor McGovern

Getty The Cowboys could look to trade Connor McGovern (right).

The Dallas Cowboys could be in the market for a trade after snagging Tulsa offensive lineman Tyler Smith with the No. 24 pick of the NFL draft. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine suggests that guard Connor McGovern could be on the trade block.

“The Cowboys used a third-round pick on interior offensive lineman Connor McGovern in 2019. Since then, he’s made 14 starts and only given up four sacks, per Sports Info Solutions,” Ballentine noted on May 11, 2022. “Still, the Cowboys’ moves this offseason don’t seem to point toward a starting role for McGovern. The team let Connor Williams walk in free agency, which would have opened the door for him to start at left guard. However, the team using the 24th pick on Tyler Smith once again throws that into question.”

The Cowboys selected McGovern with the No. 90 overall pick in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft. McGovern has made 14 starts for the Cowboys over the last two seasons and appeared in 16 contests in 2021. At times, Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was critical of McGovern last season as the guard rotated in and out of the starting lineup.

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What Is McGovern’s Trade Value?

As evidenced by the recent NFL draft, few positions are more in demand than offensive linemen with three players being selected inside the top-nine picks. Overall, nine offensive linemen were selected in the first round. McGovern earned a 68.7 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2021, a significant improvement from his 61.7 the previous season.

There are two key questions the Cowboys need to answer when considering a potential McGovern trade. What would trading McGovern net the Cowboys in a possible deal? Dallas also needs to assess whether McGovern’s trade value is worth even considering a potential deal.

McGovern Is on a Team-Friendly Contract

McGovern will earn a reasonable $2.5 million salary in 2022, the final season of his four-year, $3.6 million deal. It is difficult to imagine the Cowboys landing more than a future late-round draft pick for McGovern.

“If the Cowboys are confident enough in Smith that he can become a franchise left tackle, then it stands to reason they believe he can start at guard right away,” Ballentine added. “That leaves McGovern as a backup once again.

“He’s in the final year of his rookie contract. So while he only accounts for $2.8 million, the Cowboys might be willing to deal him if a team is willing to part with a pick to get him.”

It would likely be more beneficial for the Cowboys to keep McGovern for depth rather than dealing the guard. The Cowboys already released La’el Collins earlier this offseason. Dallas experienced a rash of injuries and suspensions at the position group last season showing the importance of having capable players behind their starting rotation. Despite the addition of Smith, the Cowboys would be wise to retain McGovern because the team will most likely need the guard to play a critical role at some point in 2022.

The Cowboys View Tyler Smith as Their Future Franchise Left Tackle

VideoVideo related to cowboys may look to trade former starter, says analyst2022-05-12T17:25:50-04:00

Smith is expected to begin his NFL career at guard, but the Cowboys have their eyes on moving their top pick into a more important position in the future. Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones admitted that they view Smith as Tyron Smith’s eventual replacement at left tackle.

“The only thing I would add to this, the key thing with Smith is just his ability,” Jones explained during an April 29 press conference. “We think he can be our left tackle for a long time, at some point in time. Obviously, we got the best in the business now in Tyron Smith, but at some point [with] his ability we really believe he can be a really top, top left tackle.”

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