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Phillips: Trade Jenkins? What About 'Window'?

* *The Cowboys say they're not trading cornerback Mike Jenkins. I believe that – unless someone knocks them over with an offer they can't refuse.

After spending what will probably amount to $75 million or so on Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, they'd be foolish not to at least consider a very good offer. It's clear those two are the future at the position.

Already there have been reports that the Colts are trying to pry away Jenkins. Other teams have probably shown at least casual interest. Just keep in mind that Jenkins' value might be higher closer to the regular season when injuries tend to make teams a little more desperate to make a deal.

A lot of you guys have asked us what type of draft pick the Cowboys would want in return. That I'm not sure of. They won't give him away, so my best guess is a Day 3 pick would be shooting too low.

But my first reaction to these hypotheticals is this: what about that “closing window” everyone wants to keep open another couple of years?

If they deal Mike Jenkins for a 2013 draft pick, how does that help them beat the Giants this year and get back to the playoffs? How are they better equipped to stop Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks and DeSean Jackson and the endless number of talented receivers in the NFC East?

Call it posturing if you want, but there's truth at least in theory when the Cowboys say four good corners is a prerequisite against pass-happy offenses. If Jenkins comes back healthy and plays at his best, he's good enough to start for Rob Ryan even with Carr and Claiborne here. He can be an asset.

And I do believe they can find ways to get all four on the field at once. Orlando Scandrick has played a hybrid safety role before in sub-packages.

Teams have to build their rosters around their division opponents' strengths. The East is full of quick, dynamic receivers (see above), two arguably top-10 quarterbacks (Eli Manning, Michael Vick) and an extremely gifted rookie (Robert Griffin). Having four quality corners isn't really a luxury when you think about it; it's sort of a necessity, isn't it?

Maybe Jenkins does get traded at some point. Maybe there's a player-for-player swap out there, as Nick speculated today, that would help this team right now at another position. The numbers would have to fit under the salary cap.

But if we're talking about dealing him for a draft pick, a bundle of hope, that's not exactly helping the window stay open in 2012.

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