Cowboys Could Strike Trade for $30 Million Longtime Starter, Says Analyst

Grover Stewart

Getty Indianapolis Colts defender Grover Stewart could be a potential trade target for the Dallas Cowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys have been quiet following the NFL draft, but there are still some potential moves that the franchise could make ahead of training camp. CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin has the Cowboys among the top franchises to potentially make a trade for Colts veteran defensive tackle Grover Stewart.

“An underrated mainstay of Indianapolis’ front alongside DeForest Buckner, Stewart has been durable and stout as a starting interior man for the last four years,” Benjamin wrote on May 16, 2023. “He’s also on a fair deal, due $10.875M in 2023 amid a slightly inflated DT market.

“But the Colts have reason to pivot to more of an offensive focus under coach Shane Steichen, especially with a new QB incoming. And dealing Stewart before his contract expires in 2024, entering his age-30 season, would also clear $9.6M.”

Cowboys Rumors: Mazi Smith Could Prevent Dallas From Striking a Trade With the Colts

There are obvious reasons why the Cowboys would be hesitant to not only take on the remainder of Stewart’s three-year, $30.7 million contract but give up assets to do so. Stewart is slated to have a $9.2 million salary for the 2023 season as he enters the final year of his current deal.

The main hindrance to a potential trade is Dallas just selected former Michigan standout defensive lineman Mazi Smith who has a much more affordable $2.4 million cap hit this season. The Cowboys’ preference would likely be to give Smith reps to see what they have for the future before taking on another sizable contract at the same position.

Colts DT Grover Stewart Is Coming Off Career Year in the Majority of Key Statistics

The addition of Stewart does have some appeal given the middle of the Cowboys defensive line was one of the main weaknesses on the roster last season. Stewart is coming off career high numbers in the majority of key statistics including 70 tackles, seven quarterback hits, four sacks and three pass deflections in 17 starts during the 2022 season.

The defender has been an Indianapolis starter in four straight seasons. Stewart earned a 69 grade from Pro Football Focus for his play in 2022.

Cowboys Rookie Mazi Smith Topped The Athletic’s “Freaks List” in 2022

What can Cowboys fan expect from Smith during his first NFL season? While at Michigan, Smith specialized in stopping the run and his stats reflect being a defender who was not as focused on disrupting the quarterback. Smith notched 48 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and half of a sack during his 14 appearances for the Wolverines in 2022.

The former Michigan defensive tackle topped The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List” heading into the 2022 season. Smith is so strong that Michigan staffers had to get creative with adding weight to certain machines after the defender was able to max out the available plates.

“The 6-foot-3, 337-pound senior has rare power and agility,” Feldman wrote on August 10, 2022. “So rare, in fact, it’s hard to find the right superlative to begin with. But let’s start with this: Smith does 22 reps on the bench press, but that’s with 325 (not 225). He close-grip benched 550 pounds. He vertical-jumps 33 inches. He broad-jumped 9-4 1/2.

“Smith, who had 37 tackles last season, has clocked a 4.41 shuttle time, which would’ve tied the best by any defensive tackle at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine, and it would’ve been better than any defensive tackle weighing 310 pounds or more in the past decade. His 6.95 3-cone time would’ve been by far the fastest among defensive tackles in Indianapolis. The fastest was 7.33. Smith’s 60-yard shuttle time is 11.90.”