The Dallas Cowboys began the 2021 season with a loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they looked great overall. Despite the loss, there was a ton of excitement about this season with Dak Prescott returning alongside Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and CeeDee Lamb all looking like legit healthy weapons. The defense was a concern, but DeMarcus Lawrence looked ready to lead that unit to the playoffs. That was until Lawrence broke his foot in practice and is now set to miss the next 6-8 weeks.
With Lawrence out due to injury and the Cowboys in a big year, how can they replace him? They can try free agency but aside from Olivier Vernon there isn’t much talent available. Maybe they can replace Lawrence internally but there isn’t anyone close to matching the talent level or upside that Lawrence brought. Maybe the best way to find a replacement is through trade. Let’s go over two players the Cowboys could go for. One of them is more realistic but one instantly replaces the talent from Lawrence.
Trade option #1: Dante Fowler
Fowler is an interesting option because of the upside he brings along with the uncertainty. He plays defensive end for the Falcons, a team that isn’t going anywhere this season, and was very disappointing last season after a career year in 2019. Starting with his 2019 season, Fowler racked up 11.5 sacks with the Los Angeles Rams and also ranked 11th with 67 total quarterback pressures. This was the breakout season everyone was waiting for from the former third overall pick and this earned him a nice contract in Atlanta.
Before the 2020 season, Fowler signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Falcons and he was set to be their star defensive end. Unfortunately for him and the Falcons, Fowler never got going and only ended up with 3.0 sacks while ranking 56th in pressures among edge rushers. The former top three pick fell off a cliff just one year after his big breakout year, but we all saw the potential.