NFL training camps kickoff in less than two months and the clock is ticking for the Dallas Cowboys to finalize their roster heading into the preseason. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox identified pass rusher Dorance Armstrong as a potential trade candidate prior to Week 1.
“A year ago, the Dallas Cowboys signed complementary pass-rusher Dorance Armstrong to a new two-year, $12 million deal,” Knox wrote on June 5, 2023. “That proved to be a smart move, as he went on to have a career year with 8.5 sacks and 18 quarterback pressures.
“Why consider trading Armstrong now? His value is at an all-time high, he could depart in 2024 free agency anyway, and the Cowboys have a fairly strong rotation of edge-rushers.”
Armstrong posted a career-high 8.5 sacks last season while adding 33 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, 10 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries in 17 appearances, including five starts. The veteran was selected by the Cowboys in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL draft.
Trading Dorance Armstrong Could be a Mistake for the Cowboys
The Cowboys would need to weigh the potential return in a trade for Armstrong compared to the advantage of having added depth at one of the most important positions in the NFL. Armstrong is heading into the final season of a two-year, $12 million contract and is slated to have a $5 million salary in 2023.
The defender is unlikely to start this upcoming season as Micah Parsons focuses more of his time as a pass rusher. Yet, the 25-year old is expected to be a key part of the defensive line rotation in 2023. Dallas will also lean on DeMarcus Lawrence, Sam Williams and Dante Fowler Jr. among others as additional pass rushers.
The Cowboys have dealt with injuries on the defensive line in the past and trading Armstrong would leave the team thin at the position. Dallas is unlikely to fetch more than a day-three pick for Armstrong given the defender will be a free agent next offseason.
Cowboys COO Stephen Jones on Possible Moves: ‘There’s a Chance We May Trade Some Guys Out’
Dallas indicated the team is still open to making additional roster moves but hinted that there is unlikely to be anything aggressive done heading into training camp. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones revealed the front office is still evaluating the bottom of the roster and could switch out current players for some of the available veterans.
“There’s a chance we may trade some guys out,” Jones told reporters on June 5. “Guys we decided we don’t want to take the camp, and we replace that guy with another again in the same position.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones left the door open for the team to sign some of the intriguing players that remain on the free agent market. Jones noted that the team continues to “keep a close eye” on free agency.
“There’s an active free agent market relative to some pretty talented people out there,” Jones remarked during a June 5 media session. “We want to keep a close eye on that. I never shut the door, never, relative to the potential to smartly add to our team for this year.
“I emphasize that, for this year. Mainly I would tell you that 99% of my thinking is about this year. Now, you’ve got to think about the impact on other years when you make these decisions, so. You name it whether it be Zeke. Whether it be where we are with the guys that we worked out here today.”