Why the Cowboys balked at Jets' high trade price for Sheldon Richardson

The NFL’s trade deadline offered one big surprise (Jamie Collins to the Cleveland Browns) and little else. A lot of trades that were reportedly discussed never materialized.

One that didn’t was a discussed deal between the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets that would have sent defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson to Dallas. But the Cowboys balked because the Jets reportedly would not come down from their high asking price — a first-round pick — according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Jets asked for a first in either 2017 or 2018, but the Cowboys said, no thanks. As much as they craved help for a defense that has overachieved to this point, that was a non-starter apparently.

New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson would have come at too high a price for the Dallas Cowboys. (Getty Images)
New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson would have come at too high a price for the Dallas Cowboys. (Getty Images)

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As good a player as Richardson, a former first-round pick, might be he also came with several caveats. One, he’s a free agent-to-be, so short of knowing that he’d re-sign with the Cowboys, that price just wasn’t going to work. Two, Richardson has had off-field incidents that were concerning, which led to him being suspended for the 2016 season opener, and one could argue that the Cowboys’ team chemistry has been a huge but underrated reason for their success this season.

Additionally, reports came out after the Cowboys rejected the trade offer that Richardson and teammate Mo Wilkerson were habitually late to team meetings or skipped them entirely. Richardson was benched in the first quarter of the Week 10 game against the Miami Dolphins after the trade deadline had passed. It’s not clear if the Cowboys were aware of this before the news became public.

In eight games (seven starts), Richardson has made 35 tackles, 1.5 sacks and one pass defended.

The Cowboys might not have upgraded their defense or added a potential impact player up front. But they did avoid a potential headache and one who would have come with an unwieldy price tag and who could have been a half-season rental with no long-term guarantee. Those are likely the biggest reasons why the Richardson-to-Dallas trade never made it past the conversation phase.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!