The trade deadline comes in only nine days. With four significant trades already happening during the 2013 season (Trent Richardson to Indy, Jon Beason to the Giants, Eugene Monroe to the Ravens, and Levi Brown to the Steelers), more could be coming.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network suggested earlier this morning that the Cowboys could make a move at running back. Rapoport explains that the Cowboys have begun to realize that the injury-prone DeMarco Murray isn’t the long term answer at the position. (Which would mean that the Cowboys have become the last ones to realize that Murray lacks the durability to be a franchise-type tailback.)
The most obvious target would be Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Even though G.M. Dave Caldwell has said that Jones-Drew won’t be traded, we’ve reported that he’d be available at the right price.
Speaking of price, the Cowboys could have to scramble a bit to fit the balance of Jones-Drew’s $4.9 million base salary under the cap, given that Dallas currently has $2.2 million in space, according to NFLPA records.
Other names to watch would be, in our estimation, Lions running back Mikel Leshoure, Saints running back Mark Ingram, and Raiders running back Darren McFadden. Leshoure and Ingram have gotten buried on their respective depth charts; McFadden is in the final year of his rookie deal.
McFadden’s name is the most intriguing of the bunch. He played at Jerry Jones’ alma mater, and there was plenty of speculation in 2008 that Jones would trade up to pick the former Razorback, who reportedly was the No. 1 pick on the Dallas draft board that year. (The Cowboys instead stayed up and took Arkansas teammate Felix Jones.)
Whether or not the Cowboys make a move, the clock is ticking.
UPDATE 10:58 a.m. ET: Ed Werder of ESPN says that two unnamed Cowboys sources haven’t heard that the team is skeptical of Murray, and they have no knowledge of a possible running back trade.