Cowboys Address Trade Rumor Involving Offensive ‘Starter’

Cowboys OL Connor McGovern

Getty Cowboys OL Connor McGovern

Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman Connor McGovern reportedly is drawing trade interest from multiple teams — plural – around the NFL. But the team he currently plays for appears reluctant to surrender a starting-caliber piece of its championship-level roster.

“As we all know, and as we saw last year, just because you might have your starting five, which certainly hadn’t ruled Connor McGovern out starting,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Friday in response to the rumor. “He’s still competing his ass off, but you got to have seven or eight of these guys to make it through a season. So, I find it really hard to see us doing anything that would hurt us in that area right there.”

ESPN’s Todd Archer first reported Friday that unnamed suitors are “eyeing a move” for McGovern, whom Dallas is “reluctant” to deal away ahead of the 2021 regular season.

“They see him as a starter even if he does not open season as one,” Archer added.

Preceding Jones’ remarks were that of Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, who acknowledged McGovern’s development following his wash-out rookie campaign — and seemingly took the 23-year-old Penn State product off the bargaining table.

“Connor McGovern is just continuing to build off of last year,” McCarthy told reporters, via Pro Football Talk. “He had a tremendous finish as far as his growth as a player throughout last year. He had a strong finish at the end of the year, and he’s continued that.”

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Background on McGovern

The 90th overall pick of the 2019 draft, McGovern missed that entire year due to various ailments, including a torn pectoral muscle which landed him on injured reserve. He returned to appear in eight games last season, operating primarily at right guard for then-injured All-Pro Zack Martin.

McGovern was a 35-game collegiate starter for the Nittany Lions. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman made starts at both center and guard, boosting his pre-draft stock. Analysts lauded him for his strength and athleticism, albeit unrefined.

“Connor McGovern definitely profiles as an eventual starting OG in the NFL, I’m just not sold he can do so at a high level immediately,” The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs wrote in 2019. “With great functional athleticism and effective functional strength,, McGovern possesses the foundation needed to be a quality player. But hand timing issues and balance work still rear their heads in his tape and make him more of a three year window to peak as a pro vs. being a plug and play starter immediately from Day 1.”

Prior to Dallas’ third preseason contest, McGovern was listed on the club’s official website as the second-string backup guard behind Martin and RG Connor Williams.

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Cowboys Could Trade for Former Super Bowl MVP QB

With franchise quarterback Dak Prescott (shoulder) sidelined and his backups (Garrett Gilbert, Ben DiNucci, Cooper Rush) less than spectacular, Tim Kelly of 105.3 The Fan suggested the Cowboys acquire Foles from Chicago ahead of the 2021 regular season.

“Even if Prescott is good to go for Week 1, the possibility exists that in the league’s new 17-game schedule, he’ll miss a game or two,” Kelly wrote Thursday. “It’s true that if Prescott misses an extended period of time, the Cowboys are probably in trouble regardless of who their backup is. We saw that last year when Andy Dalton, seemingly one of the best backups in the NFL, went 4-5 in nine starts after Prescott suffered a season-ending compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. But could having a good backup — one that maybe has to see extensive action in one or two games — be the difference in making or missing the playoffs? Sure.”

READ NEXT: Cowboys to Trade Jaylon Smith After Going Viral for Poor Effort?

Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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