As the Dallas Cowboys square off against the Philadelphia Eagles to end the season, some believe the two rivals should be working together off the field. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox listed Eagles tackle Andre Dillard as the one player the Cowboys wish they could trade for ahead of the postseason.
The NFL’s trade deadline passed in November, but the Cowboys could explore a trade with the Eagles this offseason. The Eagles may be an NFC East rival, but the Cowboys already showed a willingness to make deals within the division.
During the 2021 NFL draft, the Cowboys made a trade with the Eagles to move down in the first round where Dallas ultimately landed Dstar linebacker Micah Parsons. Knox explained why Dillard would be the perfect insurance policy for their offensive line.
“While doing a deal with a division rival could be tricky, the Dallas Cowboys would love to have more depth along the offensive line,” Knox explained. “Left tackle Tyron Smith is back in the lineup but just missed Weeks 15 and 16 with an ankle injury.
“This would purely be an insurance move for Dallas, but having depth in the playoffs is important. If there’s one thing that might stop the surging Cowboys right now, it would be the dreaded injury bug.
“Dillard hasn’t played on offense for the Eagles since the trade deadline, and while he doesn’t have a ton of starting experience, the 2019 first-round pick has physical upside. Swing tackle Terence Steele has filled in admirably at both tackle spots this season, but adding Dillard would give Dallas even more insurance for a potential Super Bowl run.”
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The Eagles Were Willing to Trade Dillard for a ‘Quality Second-Day Pick’
Prior to the trade deadline, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the Eagles would likely be willing to deal Dillard for a “quality second-day pick.” Dillard was selected by the Eagles with the No. 22 pick of the 2019 NFL draft. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles could reengage with trade talks for Dillard this offseason.
“He was drafted to be the left tackle of the future, but it hasn’t quite worked out like that,” Rapoport explained on October 24. “Instead, that title has gone to seventh-round find Jordan Mailata. Dillard hasn’t been in the starting lineup, and recently, he has been taking reps at guard in practice. So, teams have been calling with trade interest. He did impress while playing left tackle against the Panthers, and that improved his stock. The Eagles won’t give him away, and there are scenarios where he’s a part of their future, anyway. But teams believe a quality second-day pick would be enough to pry Dillard away.”
Knox sees the Cowboys being able to snag Dillard for a third-round pick, less than the Eagles’ initial asking price ahead of the trade deadline.
“The Cowboys may have to pay a premium to pry Dillard away from a rival, but with him not seeing the field in Philadelphia, a third-round pick would probably get it done,” Knox added.
The Cowboys Could Look to Release Collins This Offseason
Dillard is slated to make $2.1 million in 2022 on the final season of his four-year, $12.3 million contract. USA Today’s K.D. Drummond looked ahead to the Cowboys offseason and outlined several changes that could happen on the offensive line.
Zach Martin and Tyron Smith are two prime candidates for potential restructured deals. Drummond not only sees La’el Collins as another potential restructure but believes the tackle could be expendable thanks to the emergence of Terence Steele.
“IF Collins is still on the club, and that only makes sense if they intend to return him to the permanent starting perch, then he’s a candidate for restructure with a caveat,” Drummond detailed on December 6. “Restructures are generally long-term commitments so Dallas would basically be wiping his slate clean. Look, another deal set to expire in 2024. One can almost see the championship window painted in the picture on Jones’ office wall. Collins’ base salary is $10M and his cap hit is currently $15,250,000.”