5:52pm: The Cowboys will send their 2017 fifth-round pick to the Bills in exchange for Buffalo’s 2017 seventh-round choice, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News tweets.
5:30pm: The Cowboys have acquired quarterback Matt Cassel from the Bills, according to a source who spoke with Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Bills will receive a 2017 pick, according to ESPN.com’s Todd Archer. Albert Breer of NFL.com (Twitter link) hears that there will actually be a swap of picks.
Cassel, 33, was cut loose by the Bills on September 5th but his unemployment lasted less than 72 hours as he re-signed with Buffalo just days later. The veteran was first acquired by the Bills back in March in a trade with the Vikings, but didn’t initially survive the cutdown to 53 players over the weekend. The Bills kept Cassel around as veteran insurance for Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel, but they apparently feel comfortable enough to part with him at this point.
Of course, the Cowboys were motivated to acquire a veteran QB due to Tony Romo‘s injury, which will sideline him for at least seven games. Dallas will turn to Brandon Weeden as their starter in Week 3, but if he falters, Cassel could jump in and take the job. Prior to this trade, the Cowboys auditioned a number of quarterbacks including Christian Ponder, Matt Flynn, and Josh Johnson. Apparently, none of those options were satisfactory for them.
He had initially been slated to make a base salary of $4.15MM in 2015, which likely contributed to his release from Buffalo. His new deal is probably be closer to the veteran’s minimum, perhaps with some playing-time and performance bonuses attached.
In a related move, the Cowboys have also promoted quarterback Kellen Moore from the practice squad, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Moore’s promotion coupled with the Cassel acquisition gives Dallas three QBs on the depth chart.