FRISCO, Texas – It might not be splashy, but the Cowboys confirmed one more bit of roster shuffling ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan on Monday morning, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones confirmed a minor deal to improve the depth along the defensive line.
“We’re bringing in a defensive tackle from Houston to shore up the defensive line right there,” Jones said.
Jones is referring to a deal that was first publicized on Friday, but wasn’t official until now. The Cowboys acquired veteran defensive tackle Eli Ankou from the Texans, though the deal was pending a COVID-19 test. The team has not disclosed the terms of the deal, but reports indicate that they sent a seventh-round pick to Houston as compensation.
This decision clearly seems to be about firming a weak spot, especially after the Cowboys’ decision to release Dontari Poe last week.
Ankou has been in the league since 2017, spending time with Jacksonville, Cleveland and Indianapolis in addition to Houston. He spent training camp with Cleveland this season and was waived prior to the start of the regular season. Since then, he spent a month with the Colts before being claimed off waivers by the Texans.
All told, Ankou has appeared in 20 NFL games for three different clubs, registering 26 tackles and three sacks.
Plenty have questioned why the Cowboys would trade a draft pick for a player who has been subject to waivers twice this season. For a team that is startlingly thin at defensive tackle, though, a seventh-round pick might have been a worthwhile price to avoid paying for Ankou’s services.
As far as any bigger moves, Jones didn’t rule it out completely. But with the trade deadline just one day away, he seemed to suggest that the Cowboys are more interested in seeing how the young players on their roster can develop.
“I think we’re basically in a mode that if something came to us that made a lot of sense, then we’d certainly look at it,” Jones said. “I don’t know that we’re aggressively out here right now either trying to get somebody or move somebody. What we want to do right now is play some of these young guys that we have, give them the reps that they need, see what we have as we move through the season here.”