FRISCO, Texas – After weeks of wheeling, the Cowboys are dealing.
The club brought an end to weeks’ worth of speculation on Thursday, as it agreed to a trade with the Miami Dolphins for defensive end Robert Quinn.
The Cowboys are shipping a 2020 sixth-round pick to Miami in exchange for the veteran pass rusher, who should bolster a pass rush that has been depleted by the suspension of Randy Gregory and the ongoing contract negotiation with DeMarcus Lawrence.
Quinn comes to Dallas with one year remaining on his contract, though the Cowboys are reworking that to lower his current hit on the salary cap.
This news doesn’t come as a huge surprise. The Cowboys have been linked to Quinn for several weeks, and chief operating officer Stephen Jones said as recently as Tuesday that the front office was still looking to add outside help at defensive end.
“I think we’ve got work to do there. As I said, we’re not finished yet,” Jones said. “We have some things in the mix we’re working on that may address that situation.”
This deal has been a bit unique compared to other NFL transactions. Quinn had been under contract in Miami through the 2019 season. But after changing regimes under new head coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins were seeking to trade Quinn and allowed him to visit several teams as part of the process.
Quinn visited The Star last Tuesday and left without a deal. But after a week of further negotiation, the Cowboys pulled the trigger on a deal that will reportedly include a reworked one-year contract for the veteran pass rusher.
It’s fair to say that Quinn likely isn’t at the level he reached earlier in his career. He was drafted No. 14 overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 2011 NFL Draft, just a few spots after the likes of Tyron Smith and J.J. Watt, and he quickly set about establishing himself as one of the league’s top pass rushers.
Quinn notched double-digit sacks in three of his first four seasons in the league, including a 19-sack effort in 2013. Injuries have taken their toll, though. He hasn’t played a 16-game season since 2014, and the Rams eventually traded him to Miami in exchange for a fourth-round pick last year.
All of that said, he still represents a sizable improvement from the current situation. Quinn tallied 6.5 sacks for the Dolphins last season, to go along with 38 total tackles. Assuming the Cowboys can come to a resolution in their current contract negotiations with Lawrence, he’d represent quite a bookend on the opposite side of the line.