If the Dallas Cowboys have a weak link, it could be at the safety position. Would making a trade for Minkah Fitzpatrick get them closer to Super Bowl success?
The Dallas Cowboys entered the regular season with one of the most talented rosters in the entire NFL. Yet, it isn’t perfect. If there is one main area of concern, it’s likely at the safety position.
Although both starters Xavier Woods and Jeff Heath are viewed as serviceable, it didn’t stop the Cowboys from attempting to make a trade for All-Pro safety Earl Thomas during the 2018 NFL Draft, reportedly offering a third-round selection to obtain his services. Yet, despite Thomas hitting the free agency market this offseason, the Cowboys seemingly refused to overpay for the now-30-year old veteran.
Thomas, a six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl winner, would end up landing a massive four-year, $55 million deal to play for the Baltimore Ravens instead. And in his debut for the Ravens this past weekend, he would post an interception against the Miami Dolphins.
Speaking of the Dolphins, they may offer yet another opportunity for the Cowboys to upgrade their safety position. According to reports, Miami’s 2018 first-round selection, former Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, has received permission from the Dolphins to seek a trade. The rumored price? A future first round pick.
The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Fitzpatrick is coming off a solid rookie season where he recorded 80 combined tackles, nine pass defends, two interceptions, and one defensive touchdown. Coming out of the draft, the 22-year old was considered to be a top-ten level talent. He would end up going 11th overall to Miami.
But do the Cowboys need Fitzpatrick enough to trade away a high draft pick for him? It likely depends on how they (and you) feel about 2019 sixth-rounder Donovan Wilson. The Texas A&M star posted three interceptions in four preseason games this summer. If the Cowboys believe they have a future All-Star duo in Woods and Wilson, trading for Fitzpatrick doesn’t make sense.
But here’s why the Cowboys might at least consider making such a trade. One, the Cowboys traded a first-rounder to the Oakland Raiders last year for wide receiver Amari Cooper and that has been an unarguable success.
Two, if Dallas wanted to draft a safety next year, they’ll probably not find a better one than Fitzpatrick as the Cowboys appear to be a playoff-caliber team, meaning their top selection in 2020 would likely be late into the first round. He also has position flex, able to play at corner or safety, something we know the coaching staff in Dallas covets.
Also consider the fact the Cowboys made a trade with the Dolphins earlier this offseason for defensive end Robert Quinn. So the two franchises have already establish a rapport.
Finally, Fitzpatrick is a former player of Nick Saban’s at Alabama. Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has a close relationship with Saban due to him hiring the former longtime NFL backup quarterback as a QB coach with the Dolphins in 2005.
Fitzpatrick posted his best season for the Crimson Tide as a sophomore recording 66 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, six interceptions, seven pass defends, and two defense touchdowns in 15 games. Saban has said Minkah does it as well as anyone he’s ever coached when it comes to how hard he works.
There are certainly several connections that can be made here that make the Dallas Cowboys trading for someone like Minkah Fitzpatrick seem ideal. But it really comes down to how the team feels about their current set of starters and the potential of rookie Donovan Wilson.