Chiefs, Cowboys finalize swap of OL Ehinger for CB Ward

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs had been searching for help at cornerback and had a surplus of talented offensive lineman, while the Dallas Cowboys were in precisely the opposite situation.

So they decided to make a deal.

The Chiefs sent backup offensive lineman Parker Ehinger, who had lost his starting job in training camp, to the Cowboys for undrafted but promising cornerback Charvarius Ward. The deal was struck Thursday night but became official Friday, one day before teams are required to trim their rosters.

“I’ve had a chance to look at Charvarius and he’s a big kid that’s really had a pretty good training camp for them,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said on a conference call. “He’s somebody that will come in and work into that mix there. He’s young, so we’re not bringing him in to be the starter or any of that, but he sure is a nice addition to that group.”

The Chiefs have been chasing help at cornerback ever since trading Marcus Peters, a standout but malcontent, to the Rams earlier this season. They acquired Kendall Fuller in a trade with Washington for quarterback Alex Smith, signed David Amerson in free agency, chose Tremon Smith in the draft, and picked up a couple more prospects that went undrafted in April.

So far, Fuller has been the only one to distinguish himself during the preseason.

He’s poised to start alongside Steven Nelson, who missed part of camp with a concussion, but the depth beyond that gets thin. Amerson has been burned in preseason games, while Smith was a sixth-round pick from Central Arkansas who is trying to adapt to a major upgrade in competition.

Chiefs general manager Brett Veach evidently thought enough of Ward that he didn’t want to risk someone else grabbing him on Saturday, assuming he was cut by the Cowboys. So he made the deal to send them Ehinger, a fourth-round pick in 2016 who earned the starting job as a rookie.

Ehinger tore his ACL later that season, though, and with the exception of a start in Week 17 of last year, he’s been unable to earn back the starting job. Cam Erving beat him out in camp.

The Cowboys were searching for interior depth after losing backup Marcus Martin to a torn ligament in his toe this preseason. They also have a rookie, Connor Williams, poised to start at guard.

“They needed offensive linemen,” Reid said. “They’ve been checking on our group there and Parker will go in and do a nice job for them, and we appreciate everything he did here and how he fought back from his injury to get himself back to where he is now. He did a nice job.

“They wanted him and we wanted Charvarius, so it all worked out well.”