“Why can’t the NFL offseason be more like the NBA’s?”
If you follow any sports besides football, you’ve probably heard this statement before. Or, you might have even thought it yourself.
No matter what you think of the NBA, there is no doubt that each day of the Free Agency and Draft periods are filled with excitement, as big names and star players are both rumored to, and actually do, switch teams through trades and signings.
Last July 4th, former Oklahoma City star Kevin Durant left the Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors after visits with multiple NBA teams. Durant, the consensus second-best player in the world, shook the entire landscape of the league with his one decision.
Imagine, for a second, if someone like Von Miller was courted by almost every other NFL team before deciding to join the already stacked defensive line of the Houston Texans?
That would be absolute madness, and a ton of fun to watch unfold.
But instead, we get the rather mundane NFL offseason stories, mostly due to both the nature of the sport and the salary cap. So, let’s go into fantasy land for a little bit and imagine up some NBA-style trades that would cement the Dallas Cowboys as Super Bowl favorites in 2017.
Disclaimer: Yes, I know none of these could/would actually happen.
Everything Is Bigger In Texas
- Houston Texans receive: QB Tony Romo, 2017 First Round Pick
- Dallas Cowboys receive: DE JJ Watt
Let’s first go back in time to make this first trade work. Tony Romo has not announced his retirement from football yet, and CBS has not already acquired our former franchise quarterback.
We all know Dak Prescott is the Cowboys quarterback of the future, and Dallas has to do something with Romo’s contract. They would also like to get something back for Romo, while still doing “right” by him.
The Houston Texans won the AFC South in 2016, and did so mostly without JJ Watt. When healthy, Watt is the best defensive linemen I have ever seen, but maybe they aren’t so sold on him coming back fully healthy ever again.
Plus, with Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus emerging as incredible pass rushers, one of these three could potentially become expendable. Especially if they are looking to fill their desperate quarterback need.
So, the Cowboys give up Tony Romo and their 28th overall selection for a chance to strengthen their weak pass rush with JJ Watt.
As we love to say on NBA Twitter: “Who says no!?!”
Well, everyone says no, but that’s okay for now.
Get John Elway On The Phone
- Denver Broncos receive: OL Ronald Leary, 2017 First Round Pick, 2019 First Round Pick
- Dallas Cowboys receive: EDGE Von Miller
Once again, we are going back in time to complete this trade.
In the NBA, we often see sign-and-trade moves made. For example, the Los Angeles Clippers completed a sign-and-trade with the Rockets to send point guard Chris Paul to Houston just a few weeks ago.
Here, the NFL borrows from the NBA, as the Cowboys complete a sign-and-trade with the Denver Broncos.
We all know how badly the Broncos need to upgrade their offensive line, and adding Ronald Leary would be a fantastic move for them (that’s why they signed him in real life). So in this scenario, the Cowboys sign-and-trade Leary to Denver, packaging him with two future first round picks to land pass rush help in Von Miller.
The Cowboys obviously give up a ton here, but this is the type of deal we see teams make in the NBA in order to “go for it” in that particular year.
Anyone who reads my draft coverage knows how protective I am of draft picks, however, which leads me to my next trade proposal.
Take a Page Out Of The Boston Celtics’ Book
- Seattle Seahawks receive: WR Dez Bryant, OL Tyron Smith
- Dallas Cowboys receive: 2017 First Round Pick, 2018 Pick-Swap, 2019 First Round Pick, 2021 First Round Pick, 2 future Second Round Picks
I know this looks ridiculous, trust me. But here’s the NBA-rationale.
The Seattle Seahawks are close to another championship, but have not had the weapons on the outside, or the offensive line to protect quarterback Russell Wilson. Because of this, the Seahawks have faltered in the postseason the last couple of years.
Now, Seattle is watching their chance at another title fade away, and making a blockbuster move like this to add both Dez Bryant and Tyron Smith would open that window once again.
In reality, the Cowboys have no reason to tear it down and start over. Though they do have nice young talent to build around already in place, Tyron Smith is too young to be included in a veteran salary shed such as this one.
Still, the Cowboys would get three first round picks, two second round picks, and a first round pick swap out of this deal in order to re-build their roster through the years. This is a deal similar to that which the Celtics made when they fleeced the Brooklyn Nets a few years ago.
Of course, not a single one of these trades are realistic whatsoever, but isn’t it fun to leave reality for a bit and imagine the impossible?
Luckily, the offseason is finally almost over, and the Cowboys reality is about to be really fun too.