The Dallas Cowboys could be big buyers at the trade deadline.
As suggested by Pro Football Network’s John Fields, a “potential” trade target for the Cowboys is none other than Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II. One of the biggest holes on Dallas’ roster is at cornerback due to the season-ending torn ACL suffered by Trevon Diggs early in the season.
Fields argues that Surtain — a 2022 Pro Bowler and All-Pro selection — would fill that void left at the No. 1 corner spot.
“As (Jordan) Schultz mentioned, one of the Cowboys’ most obvious holes is at cornerback after Diggs’ season-ending injury,” writes Fields. “Surtain is one player who could certainly help fill that void in the defensive backfield opposite Stephon Gilmore. The third-year cornerback earned a Pro Bowl nod and first-team All-Pro honors last season after tallying 60 tackles (46 solo), 10 pass breakups, two interceptions, and a forced fumble.”
Patrick Surtain is One of NFL’s Best Cornerbacks
The 23-year-old Surtain is already one of the top young corners in the league. Despite playing on a lowly-ranked defensive unit — the Broncos rank last in the NFL while allowing 33.3 points per game — Surtain is arguably the only bright spot. The former No. 9 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft has played well this season, posting a 70.5 defensive grade, according to Pro Football Focus.
Among the Cowboys’ current healthy cornerbacks, only DaRon Bland — 77.9 defensive grade — has posted a higher defensive grade than Surtain this season.
Considering the Broncos are 1-5 and in likely fire sale mode, it’s fair to say that all of Denver’s pieces could be available for trade. However, as Fields also mentions, any possible trade involving Surtain could involve a steep asking price.
“The Broncos were mentioned among Schultz’s sellers for a reason,” writes Fields. “They have already traded Randy Gregory and released Frank Clark amid a 1-5 start and look poised to continue offloading players. Surtain should garner significant value and may not fit Denver’s timeline of returning to contention. All of those factors make a Surtain trade at least worth exploring for Dallas, though the asking price might be steeper than the franchise is willing to pay.”
Surtain Could Be Considered ‘Untouchable’ in Trade Talks
Current Broncos players who have swirled around in trade rumors involve young receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, along with linebacker Josey Jewell and safety Justin Simmons. Surtain — who is arguably the Broncos’ best player — would likely only be acquired at a premium price.
As Mike Fisher of Sports Illustrated notes, Surtain is “untouchable” when it comes to a possible trade.
“So why would the Broncos give up on him? We’ve assumed up until now, frankly, that they would not,” Fisher concludes. “Indeed, trusted Broncos reporter Benjamin Allbright uses the word ‘untouchable’ when it comes to Surtain trade speculation.”
Despite no longer featuring a lockdown No. 1 cornerback, the Cowboys have done a superb job in the absence of Diggs. Dallas ranks third in passing yards allowed and second in interceptions forced. However, they do rank 14th in passing touchdowns allowed.
Stephon Gilmore and Bland are the current starting corners with veteran cornerback Jourdan Lewis holding down the nickel job.
Is is worth noting that the Cowboys have allowed 22.5 points per game in the four games since Diggs’ injury, which would rank in the bottom 12 of the league for the entire season.
While Dallas may make a play for a cornerback at the trade deadline on October 31, it would likely take a high pick — think first-round pick and maybe even more — for the Broncos to trade Surtain.
It’s a nice dream scenario, but when considering the assets it would take to trade for Surtain, it’s not a realistic deal.
DJ Siddiqi covers the NFL for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has covered the NFL and NBA for Forbes, ClutchPoints, CBS Sports, 24/7 Sports and Bleacher Report before joining Heavy. More about DJ Siddiqi