That Miller ultimately ended up with the Los Angeles Rams was a matter of a franchise willing to give up second- and third-round draft picks on a short-term rental.
This is the definition of an all-in move, which is precisely how the Rams announced it on their Twitter account. This is what you do when you’re staring at pinball machine offenses in Arizona, Tampa and Dallas. You go out and add that one piece that can give the kind of pass-rushing momentum that drove the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl last season.
While this wasn’t a move that a team like the Cowboys absolutely had to make, it would be a mistake for Dallas to fail to respond. With the NFC wide open for the taking, every contender should be engaging in a defensive arms race heading into Tuesday’s deadline. And that’s why Dallas should be on the phone right now, talking to Denver about cornerback Kyle Fuller.
Not only because Fuller is available and the Broncos are willing to eat some of his salary for the right trade package, but also because Dallas can’t be precisely sure what it’s getting from second-round rookie Kelvin Joseph, who made his debut against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.
It’s not the most popular thing to trade away middle-round draft picks for Super Bowl rentals, but Dallas got a reminder on Sunday night that Trevon Diggs is human. Seeing him limp off the field late against Minnesota with an ankle injury should have had Jerry Jones reaching for his cell phone and checking around on cornerbacks. Losing Diggs for even a few games — or having an injury linger through the rest of the season — could dramatically change the effectiveness of Dallas' secondary, especially if it means putting more pressure on rookie cornerbacks to pick up the slack.
The point is Fuller is available now. He’s insurance for the unknown. And he’s a good player, a Pro Bowler in 2018 and 2019, who would add plenty for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to work with, not to mention another veteran presence in a room full of young cornerbacks. Given his struggles this season, he also wouldn’t cost more than one middle-round pick (at the very most), and it’s worth noting that Dallas is expecting to get an extra fourth-round pick in the compensatory system. And once again, Denver is willing to pay a large portion of his salary to give him a change of scenery.
It’s rare enough to have a veteran corner available at the deadline who costs so little in draft compensation and salary-cap space. It’s even more rare for that player to be there in a season when virtually everyone can find a place for him. And looking out across the NFC, which will run through Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford, who doesn’t need more depth at cornerback?
Someone is very likely to land Fuller before the deadline. They’re also likely to pay very little for it. And in the process, they’ll be taking away a player who could have added defensive depth. That’s more than enough for Dallas to pick up the phone. The clock is ticking. The Rams made their move. Now it’s on the Cowboys to respond.