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Jones gives Cowboys trade outlook before deadline


FRISCO, TX — The NFL trade deadline looms large for the Dallas Cowboys and the other 31 teams, set for Tuesday, Oct. 31 at 4 p.m. ET, and there's already been some action around the league and, specifically, within the NFC East itself — e.g., Kevin Byard to the Philadelphia Eagles.

That leads many to wonder if the Cowboys will get in on any possible trade talks with only a few days left to do so, but it appears they're comfortable with where they are, roster-wise, sitting at 4-2 on the season and exiting their bye week.

"It'd have to come my way," owner and general manager Jerry Jones told 105.3FM the Fan on Tuesday. "I don't want to preclude anything in any way, but it always does. You have a lot of machinations that you're working through there. The initiation of an opportunity to make a trade at this time that would help us, principally, would have to start on the other end.

"That's not showing a lack of aggressiveness, it's just that's where it starts. I like where we are with our personnel today. I'm not thinking, in any way, that we need to upgrade our roster."

For those thrown aback by that stance, Jones offered an explanation into his mindset.

"It's your leg and weight — I have areas of the team that I could, if certain circumstances happen — improve," he said. "So you don't know that your best chance to get it done is when it comes by you and you grab it. That's just generally speaking. To go out and push it, the odds of getting it done at the price or trade conditions that you would expect is draining."

The latter part of Jones' statement will always be the crux of any trade discussion — price and overall compensation — something that is blended into the dialogue of need around the league.

When the WR-by-committee approach failed a few years ago, as one example, Jones didn't blink at sending a first-round pick to the Raiders to land Amari Cooper; and that deal was struck roughly a week before the deadline.

In 2022, needing a definitive big-bodied run-stopper, they traded for Johnathan Hankins as the deadline neared.

This offseason, the Cowboys found themselves in dire need of a complementary cornerback to Trevon Diggs and, as such, sent a fifth-round pick to the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for Stephon Gilmore, a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year who now has two interceptions through his first six games.

Also desperate for an explosive complement for CeeDee Lamb, they sent a fifth-round pick to the Houston Texans to acquire Brandin Cooks, a thousand-yard receiver six times over who, as of Week 6, is beginning to find his wheels in the team's new-look offense.

There is also the matter of the fourth-round pick sent to the San Francisco 49ers to acquire former first-round pick Trey Lance, with the goal of developing him.

The loss of Diggs and, at least for now, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch would have normally thrown the Cowboys into a mode of despair, roster-wise, not unlike what occurred following the loss of both Anthony Brown and Jourdan Lewis last season, if not for dynamic young talent like DaRon Bland, Damone Clark and Markquese Bell.

Injuries to the offensive line also gave way to young backups showing they're capable of stepping in when needed, so there's a comfort level there as well — not unlike at linebacker, where they recently added former first-round pick Rashaan Evans to the mix.

All told, it feels as if the Cowboys are open for business if business comes a'calling but, and credit to the stable of depth and talent (their ability to draft well is showing up big right now), their young guys have joined in with their biggest offseason acquisitions to make for more stable footing heading into the second "trimester" of their season.

Could they still stand to upgrade in a spot or two?

Of course they could, and they'll likely not deny that but, as the late, great Bob Barker would agree, the price has to be right — as they see it.

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