Prior to training camp in 2023, the Dallas Cowboys roster was essentially finalized. While certain unanswered issues remain (such as whether or not Dallas will re-sign Ezekiel Elliott), it’s unlikely that any big roster changes will be made before training camp begins on July 25.
The Cowboys may find some roster surpluses or weaknesses that they need to fix before Week 1 as the process of narrowing down Dallas’ 53 best players continues.
Dallas may go to the trade market again, where it picked up wide receiver Brandin Cooks and cornerback Stephon Gilmore earlier this summer.
The Cowboys may spend up to $24.1 million under the salary cap. Nonetheless, they might attempt to trade players who might not make the team for value if they are unable to sufficiently cover any or all looming openings with free agents.
In light of this, let’s take a look at three players that might make sense for Dallas to trade in the near future.
J. Hankins, Defensive Tackle
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins was traded to the Cowboys from the Las Vegas Raiders back in October. With Dallas, he played in five games and had 10 tackles before going on injured reserve with a pectoral strain and coming back for the playoffs.
The Cowboys re-signed defensive end Johnathan Hankins to a one-year, $1.3 million contract this summer, but only after selecting Michigan defensive lineman Mazi Smith with their first-round choice.
Keeping Hankins at a reduced rate for the next season may make a lot of sense given that Smith is still a developing talent.
“The Wolverine is more traits and tools than a finished project, but it’s going to be hard to find more defensive tackles with more potential than he has,” noted Matt Holder of the Bleacher Report Scouting Department of Smith.
Hankins might be benched if Smith unexpectedly emerges as a starting quarterback before Week 1.
By trading Hankins, we can free up $940,000 in cap space in 2023 and probably recoup the seventh-round selection we gave up to acquire him.
Hankins is 31 years old and hasn’t played a full season since 2020, but he’s still a solid player who could start on the defensive line for a club that doesn’t have as much depth. A lot rides on Smith’s progress, but if he’s ready to go, Hankins would make sense to move.
Jourdan Lewis, CB
For the past six years, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis has been an excellent asset. He’s best used as a nickel defender, but he can play either inside or outside, and he was great when he played last year, allowing an opponent’s passer rating of just 74.2.
Lewis, on the other hand, only played in seven games due to a foot ailment. DaRon Bland, a fifth-round pick who had never played the inside position before, stepped up to fill in for the injured Anthony Brown and did it admirably.
Bland commented, “It was actually fun playing inside and outside,” as quoted by Layten Praytor on the team’s website. Simply alternative points of view and more going on within than externally…I’m willing to work anywhere they send me.
Bland was first on the Cowboys with five interceptions, and his coverage allowed only an 82.2 passing rating.
Gilmore’s hiring to replace Brown opens the door for Bland to succeed Lewis, a free agent after 2024. Lewis would be a great addition to the Cowboys’ depth chart, but selling him may net them some valuable assets. They could free up $4.7 million in cap space in 2023 if they traded him.
Foreword by Dorance Armstrong
Like with Lewis, the Cowboys could explore trading Dorance Armstrong before the 2023 season due to the team’s abundance of pass rushers. With 8.5 sacks and 18 quarterback pressures in 2022, Armstrong had a breakout year and proved to be a productive rotational rusher.
In the words of Aaron Wilson of KPRC, “It was one of the best seasons of my career so far,” Armstrong stated. “I intend to return more robust and improved.”
The Cowboys, on the other hand, aren’t lacking in pass-rushing prowess. Two-time All-Pro Micah Parsons, who is bulking up and switching positions this summer to become a full-time edge-rusher, three-time Pro Bowler Demarcus Lawrence, 2022 second-round pick Sam Williams, 2022 fourth-round pick Dante Fowler Jr., and rookie fourth-round pick Viliami Fehoko all figure into the rotation.
Although there can never be too many pass-rushers, Armstrong might be worth more to the Cowboys somewhere. An attractive trade deal for his talents would undoubtedly be offered by any competitor that has had trouble getting after the quarterback.
Even if Dallas doesn’t need the cap space, moving Armstrong would save them $5.8 million. Moving him before Week 1 would allow the Cowboys to get players like Williams and Fehoko more playing time in training camp and clear a roster spot.
Q1. What are some interesting facts about the Dallas Cowboys?
From 1966 until 1985, the Dallas Cowboys set an NFL record with 20 straight winning seasons. They made the playoffs 18 times over that span, won 13 NFC East titles, and advanced to the Super Bowl five times.
Q2. What made the Cowboys so popular?
It has been 25 years since the Cowboys last won the Super Bowl. The Cowboys’ commercial success was predicated on more than simply a history of dominance. Even before it had the corresponding moniker, it had been founded on a brand and on Americana. It was quarterback Roger Staubach, a veteran of the Vietnam War. And the cheerleading brand is the first of its type in popular culture.