Cowboys Urged to Make ‘Splashy’ Trade for NFC Foe’s Former Pro Bowl Star

Devin White

Getty The Dallas Cowboys are being pushed to make a trade for Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Devin White.

The Dallas Cowboys have been quiet since the NFL draft was completed, but the franchise is being pushed to explore potential roster upgrades via the trade market. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine detailed three potential moves the Cowboys should explore: trading for Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, dealing eight-time Pro Bowl tackle Tyron Smith and acquiring Bills defensive tackle Ed Oliver.

We are going to dig into a potential deal for White given the Bucs star requested a trade this offseason. Ballentine believes Dallas needs a “true game-changer” at linebacker adding that landing White would make for a “splashy acquisition.”

“With Parsons essentially transitioning into a full-time pass-rusher, the Cowboys are going to be relying on Leighton Vander Esch to be a veteran leader to rookie DeMarvion Overshown and young players like Jabril Cox and Damone Clark,” Ballentine detailed on May 24, 2023. “Making a move for Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White would be a splashy acquisition that could take this defense to an even higher level.

“…White has reportedly requested a trade as he enters the final year of his contract in Tampa. The Cowboys have an estimated $14.2 million in cap space, so taking on White’s contract which has just one year and $11.7 million left on it, would be possible with some maneuvering.”

Buccaneers Star Devin White Is One Year Removed From a Pro Bowl Campaign

White put up solid statistics in 2022 but underwent criticism after several questionable plays went viral throughout the season. The former Pro Bowler posted 124 tackles, 16 quarterback hits, 8 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 5 pass deflections and two forced fumbles in 17 starts. White’s play earned a disappointing 45.5 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2022.

The former No. 5 pick in the 2019 NFL draft is just one season removed from a Pro Bowl campaign. After completing a four-year, $29.3 million rookie contract, White is slated to play on an $11.7 million salary after the Bucs picked up his fifth-year option for 2023.

Buccaneers Rumors: Devin White Is ‘Fed Up’ With Tampa Bay & Requested a Trade

ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported on April 11 that White requested a trade this offseason and is “fed up” with Tampa Bay. The Bucs have since publicly dismissed the idea that the team will explore moving the linebacker.

“Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pro Bowl inside linebacker and 2019 first-round draft pick Devin White has requested a trade, sources told ESPN on Tuesday,” Laine detailed. “One of the sources told ESPN that White has grown increasingly frustrated with the team and is ‘fed up.’ The source did not provide specifics on the root cause of White’s frustration, but said he has become very unhappy in his current situation. Another source told ESPN that White’s frustrations stem from negotiations over a new contract.”

Cowboys Rumors: What Would Dallas Need to Trade in Order to Land Bucs LB Devin White?

The challenge with the Cowboys or any team pursuing a trade for White is the linebacker is eying a lucrative new deal. Spotrac projects White’s market value to be a four-year, $80.4 million contract with an average annual salary topping $20 million.

While not to the level of running backs, the overall financial value of linebackers appears to be on the decline, and it is challenging to imagine White finding this type of deal. White’s star linebacker teammate Lavonte David signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract earlier this offseason.

Linebacker is an area of focus for Dallas given Micah Parsons is expected to play the majority of snaps as an edge rusher for 2023. Leighton Vander Esch, Damone Clark, Jabril Cox and rookie DeMarvion Overshown are the favorites to earn the majority of snaps at linebacker this season.

Given White’s inconsistent play and contract status, it is difficult to project the linebacker’s trade value. The Ravens acquisition of Roquan Smith last October could be a reference point as Baltimore gave up second- and fifth-round picks in 2023 as part of the deal.