If the Dolphins are malleable on the asking price, this could be a deal the Cowboys are willing to get done
There was bound to be several teams interested in Minkah Fitzpatrick once word hit the wire that the Miami Dolphins had given him permission to seek a potential trade partner and the Dallas Cowboys are one of them. Fitzpatrick, a second-year defensive back that was a first-round pick only a year ago, wants out because of scheme differences and the overall tone of where the organization is heading in 2019.
Enter the Dallas Cowboys, who could stand to upgrade at the safety position, and have attempted on more than one occasion in the past several months. What began as a drawn-out soap opera involving Hall of Fame talent Earl Thomas ended with a visit (and subsequent decision to pass on) All-Pro Eric Berry, before the team decided to sign veteran George Iloka in the hopes he'd be an improvement over the incumbent Jeff Heath. Instead, it was Heath and rookie sixth-round pick Donovan Wilson pushing Iloka out of the door and while the Cowboys like what they have currently to tandem with Xavier Woods, they're not naive.
They know Wilson -- despite having a great preseason showing that included three interceptions -- is still a rookie who is also working to return from an ankle injury suffered in the preseason finale, and a serviceable Heath can't compete with the skill set of Fitzpatrick.
To the end, sources with knowledge of the situation advised me the Cowboys had interest in at least speaking with the Dolphins to see what the asking price was, and the team confirmed as much hours later when Stephen Jones was asked by 105.3FM the Fan in Dallas if he had spoken with the Dolphins' organization regarding Fitzpatrick.
"Yeah," Jones said directly.
Jones then went on to explain it's not anomalous to see the Cowboys put out feelers.
"When you hear rumors, you get calls," he said. "You have conversations between myself, [Jerry Jones] and [Will McClay]. We're always checking around and seeing what's going on. We have a pretty steady diet of visiting with other teams.
"We're always trying to improve our roster."
The Cowboys will certainly have competition in their pursuit of Fitzpatrick. For now, they have established an interest in potentially making a trade happen, but the Dolphins will need to come down from their reported asking price of a first-round pick to truly grab the attention of the brass in Dallas. The two sides have already established a rapport by way of the trade back in March for All-Pro defensive end Robert Quinn, and the fact is the Dolphins could benefit from a package that possibly includes a mid- or second-round draft pick for the apparent rebuild; and a pass rusher for their starved defensive line.
Could that player be Taco Charlton? Well, it's certainly a legitimate curiosity, and one that would make sense for both sides -- considering the Cowboys cup runneth over with talent on their defensive line and Charlton hasn't been able to crack the rotation to make good on his value as a former first-overall pick. Sources also confirmed to me the team is at least open to the idea of moving on from Charlton, but they'd like to get some type of value for him in exchange.
Additionally, for those who believe the devil is in the details, Charlton and Fitzpatrick are represented by the same agent, Joel Segal.
Grease, meet wheel.
Time will tell where Fitzpatrick lands, and don't expect any deal to be struck that sends him to the Cowboys before Week 3 because the two teams will square off in Arlington and the Dolphins won't want to strengthen their own opponent against them. That is, unless they're truly tanking, which is a story for another time.
Fitzpatrick delivered 80 combined tackles, nine pass breakups, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown in his rookie year.