As things stand right now, the 2-5 Dallas Cowboys would be foolish to do any buying prior to the 2020 NFL Trade deadline next Tuesday (November 3). There’s not a single player out there worth the draft capital it would take to acquire their services. With the 2020 season all but doomed, it’s time to prepare for the future and getting rid of some big-money contracts could help do just that.
Dak Prescott is key to the Dallas Cowboys future in one way or another. Whether they sign him long-term, lock him up via franchise tag, or let him walk will determine what they have to work with as far as the salary cap is concerned next year. Whatever they do though money is going to be tight, which is why trading away a few big-money contracts should be seriously considered.
When it comes to big-money contracts I believe the Dallas Cowboys should consider trading away three players come to mind… Amari Cooper, Ezekiel Elliott, and DeMarcus Lawrence. All three were locked up long-term in the past few years and all three should receive quite a bit of interest if put on the trade block. It’s tough to get rid of such talented players, but unfortunately money isn’t matching production.
Let me break this down a little better by player…
WR Amari Cooper
The Dallas Cowboys made Amari Cooper the fourth highest paid WR this season when they signed him to a five-year, $100 million contract extension with $40 million guaranteed. He’s currently the closest to living up to his high price tag compared to Ezekiel Elliott or DeMarcus Lawrence, which only helps his trade value.
Amari Cooper has become somewhat more of a luxury than a necessity with the Cowboys with the emergence of both Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. Trading him away not only gives them more salary-cap space to work with, but also more drafted capital as well. A Stefon Diggs type of trade is reasonable considering Cooper is just as talented and actually a year younger.
RB Ezekiel Elliott
In 2019 the Dallas Cowboys signed Ezekiel Elliott to a six-year, $90 million contract extension. He is currently the third-highest running back in the NFL, although you wouldn’t know it by the way his production has dipped this season. At 25 years old he’smost fun still arguably one the most talented RBs in the league, which could be too enticing for some team to pass up.
Without their starting QB and a banged up offensive line, the Cowboys would be wise to consider fielding calls for Zeke’s services. With Tony Pollard capable of stepping in as the RB1, now is the best time to try to trade away No. 21’s big money contract. There are a few teams out there with young QBs still in the playoff hunt who could be interested in improving their rushing attack with Zeke.
DE DeMarcus Lawrence
Like Zeke, the Dallas Cowboys signed DeMarcus Lawrence back in 2019 to a five-year, $105 million contract extension with $48 million guaranteed. He is currently the fourth highest paid edge rusher in the league and believe it or not he’s still the most talented player on the Cowboys defense. As such should he would be hard to let go, but it might be what’s best for the organization long-term.
Trading D-Law more than likely isn’t going to have much of an impact on the Cowboys defense one way or another, at least not right away. The long-term impact could be much different though. With the saved money and added draft capital they’d receive via trade, they could reinvest it into the defense instead of into just one talented player.