Cowboys News: Dallas Pushed to Trade for $31 Million 3-Time Pro Bowler

Zach Ertz

Getty The latest Dallas Cowboys news has the team potentially trading for tight end Zach Ertz.

It is not breaking Dallas Cowboys news that the team needs help solidifying the team’s roster, particularly when it comes to playmakers who specialize in being a red zone threat. The latest Cowboys rumors identify Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz as a potential trade target for the Cowboys.

It remains to be seen if the Cowboys’ record will be full of tricks or treats when the trade deadline arrives on October 31, 2023. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine identified three players that would be the best fit for Dallas in a potential trade with Ertz being the headliner of the group.

“The ability to play more 12 personnel (one running back, two tight ends) could help Dallas find some consistency,” Ballentine wrote on October 11. “According to 33rd Team, the Cowboys are sixth in EPA per play when in that personnel grouping, but they are just 22nd in 12 usage.

“Finding a veteran who can pair with Ferguson could be a move that pays big dividends. Zach Ertz would make a lot of sense as a target. As a former Philadelphia Eagle, the Cowboys are familiar with his game and he’s currently on the final year of his contract with a bad Cardinals team that isn’t going anywhere this season.”

Potential Dallas Cowboys Trade Target Zach Ertz’s 3-Year, $31.6 Million Contract Runs Through the 2024 Season

Prior to being traded to Arizona, Ertz spent nine seasons with Philadelphia and had plenty of success against Dallas. The question is whether Ertz has enough left in the tank that would justify the Cowboys giving up assets to land the three-time Pro Bowler.

Through the first five games, Ertz has 22 receptions for 146 yards and a touchdown, not exactly numbers that would give the Cowboys confidence the veteran represents a significant upgrade from their current tight ends. If all things are equal, Dallas would likely prefer for Jake Ferguson and Luke Schoonmaker to continue to get reps to develop into consistent NFL players.

The challenge is Dallas entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations. If the Cowboys do not get the red zone woes fixed, Dallas likely has an early playoff exit in their future.

Ertz still has two seasons remaining on a three-year, $31.6 million contract that runs through the 2024 season. For the Cowboys to even consider a rumored deal for Ertz, the Cardinals would need to agree to eat some of the tight end’s remaining deal.

The playmaker has an $8.7 million salary and $11.6 million cap hit for 2023. There is an out in Ertz’s contract in 2024, but the Cardinals (or the Cowboys if they pulled off the suggested trade) would have to take a $5 million dead cap hit by releasing the playmaker, per Spotrac. We will see if the Cowboys news around the trade deadline brings Dallas an additional playmaker.

Verdict: The Dallas Cowboys Should Trade for Another Playmaker But Pass on Zach Ertz

The finances combined with Ertz’s production likely make the tight end a pass for Dallas. The front office would still be wise to add another playmaker ahead of the trade deadline.

It is unclear whether the Cowboys roster is the problem or the team’s ability to utilize the current receivers is the main issue. The Cowboys news in the offseason brought Brandin Cooks to Big D, but the wideout has been a non-factor through the first five weeks of the season.