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FRISCO – A few summers ago, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was out dining and just happened to bump into Aaron Donald, the all-time great Rams defensive tackle.
“You’re the best player in the NFL!” Jerry and Stephen Jones both gushed, Jerry adding that Donald “broke my heart” when he didn’t somehow fall to Dallas in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Fast-forward to the NFL trade deadline quickly approaching. The Cowboys are 4-2 contenders. The Rams, who happen to play at Dallas this Sunday, are 3-4 … and are viewed by most as being something short of that.
What if the Rams view themselves as sellers? Donald is 32, and he remains expensive, essentially a $29 million APY guy for this and next season.
“Los Angeles would probably want a lot more than the Cowboys are willing to offer. This is highly unlikely. But it’s worth at least kicking the tires. Donald is one of the greatest defenders to ever play the game. … The Rams probably won’t be able to get more for him than they can right now. Placing Donald in the middle of the Cowboys’ defense would instantly make everyone better.”
The Athletic is right about a lot of things here. The “unlikelihood” of this is clear. Donald might feel rejuvenated with a contender. And his trade value is only going down.
But … We have no idea what the Rams would want in trade. … which is why we know that Jerry’s statement about only making a trade if the other team calls Dallas is nonsense; the only way to know about the availability of Donald or anyone else is to ask.The Athletic is also correct when it suggests that a less earth-shaking move is far more likely, as CowboysSI.com has already detailed. (We are also reporting that the conversations focusing on acquiring defensive help are underway.)
But if the exercise is about an “over-the-top” move? The Athletic has a few reasons to engage in the exercise, including that chance meeting at a restaurant in L.A.